Making a will is something you have to think about long before you believe you’re going to pass away. A will is the best way to show your loved ones you do care about their future. This is the method of making sure your money is going to be distributed according to your wish after your death through a lawyer, so you should definitely make one as soon as possible.
However, there are a few mistakes most people make when putting together their will. We list them here, so that you can avoid them:
No Updating of Your Will
As situations may change during your lifetime, you may need to update your will to reflect these changes. If you’ve made your will 10 years ago, are you sure it is still good? What if now you have several grandchildren? What if your child went through a divorce and married again after a while? What happens to your stepchildren? Verbal wishes are void in front of the law, so you need to make sure everything you want to happen after your death is put in writing, in your updated will. You may prefer to leave more money or properties to some grandchildren and less to others. Since the wealth is yours, you have the right to decide what happens to it after you’re no longer here. Besides, perhaps you’ve divorced since your last will update, and you don’t wish that your fortune goes to your ex-wife. You may prefer to leave it to the wonderful woman you currently share your life with. What if your executor has died? As this is the person who has to carry out the terms of your will, you need to appoint another one.
Choosing the Wrong Executor
You should choose someone who is calm, trustworthy and able to work under pressure. This person is going to be the one to distribute your wealth according to your wishes, so you have to make sure this is not a too big of a responsibility for your chosen one. An unreliable executor may not follow your instructions, so you risk that your beloved ones are scammed.
Ignoring the Worst Case Scenario
What if you die tomorrow? You trust your beloved wife to take care of your children. What if both of you die at the same time? You should consider appointing a guardian to take care of your minor children until the day they turn 18 years of age. If you don’t do this in writing, your children are going to end up in a foster home or the court is going to appoint a guardian you may not have liked. This is why it’s a good idea to take care of this event yourself, no matter how unlikely it may seem.
Assuming You are The Owner of Your Home
There are situations in which your spouse will not inherit your property after you die. For instance, in case of joint tenants or tenants in common, if one dies, the property rights pass to the other owners. This means you can’t include this ownership in your will. If you and your wife are tenants in common, you may pass on your share in the will.
Issuing an Illegal Will
You should be aware that the legal requirements for a will to be valid are that it is signed and dated by you in front of two witnesses. Both these witnesses have to be 18 years or over. In addition, they can’t be persons or spouses of persons who are going to inherit anything from you.
The best way to make sure your will is in good standing is by checking it with a legal professional.