When you are ready to make a will, you should feel confident that it reflects your wishes and will be enforceable. Unfortunately, too many people think they have this type of will, but issues arise after their death, and loved ones wind up fighting each other or the courts.
If you have a will or are preparing to make one, you should know what could make it ineffective.
Mistakes and oversights to avoid
When you are making your will, avoiding common mistakes can be crucial. Knowing what these common mistakes and oversights are can help you avoid them and make informed decisions. For instance, will disputes can arise if:
- You do not sign your will
- You were not mentally fit to sign a legal document at the time
- You included illegal or unenforceable terms
- You were not explicit with your decisions regarding disinheriting someone
- It pits beneficiaries against each other
- You include surprising or unusual terms without explaining them
- You forgot or intentionally failed to address all your assets and liabilities
- You tried to give gifts of properties you do not own independently
- You made several versions with different requests
Under these circumstances, your will can create conflict and confusion, making people doubt the legitimacy of the document.
Pitfalls of these mistakes
An invalid will can force loved ones to go through a more contentious, drawn-out legal process to administer your estate. Sadly, familial relationships can be severed or strained when parties clash during probate. And people you love can experience sadness, guilt and anger, all while coping with the grief of their loss.
Further, a problematic will can also mean that the things you wanted to happen will not, and your preferences about what you did not want can be set aside.
Therefore, when you are creating a will, avoid taking shortcuts. Rather than do-it-yourself solutions or making informal declarations to your family about your wishes, work with an attorney to put your wishes in a legally valid, binding document. Taking these steps now can ensure your will is valid and free of issues that leave it susceptible to contest.