3 Common Will Making Mistakes to Avoid

December 13, 2023

Wills

Creating a Will

3 Common Will Making Mistakes to Avoid

Estate planning is crucial to managing your assets and ensuring your wishes are fulfilled after your passing. One essential component of estate planning is making a will, a legal document that outlines how your property and assets should be distributed. However, creating a will is more complex than it may seem. Many people unknowingly make mistakes that lead to unintended consequences and disputes among their loved ones. 

In this article, we will explore three common mistakes to avoid when making a will, helping you navigate the estate planning process with confidence and clarity.

Estate Planning Basics

Before diving into the common mistakes, let's understand the importance of estate planning and will-making. Estate planning involves not only organising your assets but also considering your healthcare wishes and appointing guardians for minor children. A will is a vital tool to communicate your wishes effectively. It allows you to specify who should inherit your property, who will manage your estate, and even who will take care of your beloved pets. By having a well-crafted will, you can provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones, knowing your wishes will be honoured.

Mistake 1. Not Updating Your Will

One common mistake is failing to update a will as your circumstances change. Life is full of unexpected events, such as marriage, divorce, births, deaths, and acquiring new assets. Failing to amend your will to reflect these changes can lead to complications and unintended consequences. For example, not updating your will after divorce can result in your ex-spouse inheriting assets you intended for someone else. It is crucial to review and update your will periodically, ensuring it remains accurate and aligned with your current wishes.

Mistake 2. Not Considering All Your Assets

Another mistake is overlooking certain assets when making a will. It's easy to focus on major assets like real estate and bank accounts, but smaller items of sentimental or monetary value can be forgotten. Make a comprehensive list of all your assets, including investments, retirement accounts, insurance policies, and personal belongings. This ensures that nothing is overlooked, and your wishes regarding all your assets are clearly stated. Neglecting to include assets such as your cherished family heirlooms may lead to disputes among family members about who should receive them.


Mistake 3. Not Choosing the Right Executor

The executor is the person responsible for administering your estate and carrying out your will instructions. Choosing the wrong executor can result in mismanagement of your estate, delays in asset distribution, and potential conflicts among beneficiaries. It's essential to select someone trustworthy, reliable, and capable of handling the responsibilities involved. Discuss your decision with the intended executor beforehand and ensure they are willing to take on the role.

How to Avoid These Mistakes

To avoid the aforementioned 3 common mistakes when making a will, consider the following:

  • Regularly review and update your will to reflect any changes in your circumstances.
  • Create a comprehensive inventory of all your assets, both major and minor.
  • Clearly communicate your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets to minimise confusion and disputes.
  • Carefully select an executor who is competent and trustworthy, and communicate your choice to them.
  • Seek professional advice from an estate planning attorney to ensure your will covers all aspects.

Creating a will is a vital step in estate planning

It's imperative to avoid common mistakes that can have far-reaching consequences when creating a will. By regularly reviewing and updating your will, considering all your assets, and selecting the right executor, you can ensure your wishes are honoured and minimise potential disputes among your loved ones. Remember, seeking professional advice from an estate planning attorney can provide valuable guidance and help you navigate the complexities of the process.

If you're ready to create or update your will, we encourage you to contact one of our trusted lawyers today. We offer personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances and help you protect your legacy for generations to come. 

Don't wait until it's too late—take proactive steps now to secure your assets and provide clarity for your loved ones. Contact our trusted estate planning lawyers today.

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