Making a will is crucial to preserving your legacy and protecting your loved ones after you pass away. However, some mistakes people make with their wills can ultimately cause more problems than they solve.
Don’t have multiple versions
Having multiple copies of a will can guarantee accessibility; having multiple versions of a will is a different story.
The existence of different versions of a will can create a lot of problems when parties need to know which one to use to administer an estate.
That said, there are situations where it may be appropriate to have multiple wills. In these cases, you can work with your lawyer to ensure the documents work together rather than conflict with one another or create confusion.
Don’t leave out spouses or dependents
Leaving people out of your will may or may not be intentional, but either way, it can cause problems. Excluded parties might have grounds to contest the will, and the courts could decide to set it aside.
If you plan to not leave anything to a spouse or dependent, you can state as much in your will. Consider explaining why you are making that decision, so there are no doubts about your intentions.
Don’t keep it a secret
Your will is a personal and private matter. However, sharing certain details about your will can help smooth over the administration process. Some things you may want to share with at least one trusted party include:
- Where the will is
- How to access your accounts
- The reasoning behind your decisions
- A general idea of what your goals
When someone has this information, they can make decisions on your behalf more easily and confidently.
Don’t forget to take it seriously
A will is a powerful document, and you would be wise to comply with legal guidelines and standards when you create it. Jotting your assets on a napkin, telling your partner your wishes over drinks or otherwise being casual can make your plan legally invalid.o
Instead, be sure you put your plan in writing and be sure you and your witnesses sign it. You can also have a lawyer review it to ensure there are no problematic elements.
Avoiding these mistakes can ensure your will provides valuable direction during a tumultuous time.