Breaking News

Things that can go wrong with your Will

In a world where so many die each day without leaving behind a Will, writing a Will, or even considering writing a Will certainly deserves a pat on the back. But just because you have written a Will, it does not necessarily mean that you have got it completely right.

There are several things that you need to do correctly in order to bring yourself peace that you have prevented your loved ones from any forthcoming trouble. You must be absolutely confident that your Will expresses your wishes correctly and clearly and also that it is legally valid.

There are some common mistakes that people make in their Will which makes it legally invalid or expresses their wishes in an unclear way that creates uncertainty and leads to legal disputes.

Making mistakes in a Will can put to waste the efforts that you have taken to write the Will and despite the presence of a Will, the estate gets distributed according to intestacy laws. Following are some of the common mistakes which one should look out for while writing a Will:

Selection of an Irresponsible Executor
The person whom you appoint as the Executor of your Will has a huge responsibility to fulfil which is to administer your estate after you’re gone. For this reason, the Executor you appoint must be a person whom you trust with important affairs. He or she must be of sound mind and shouldn’t be suffering from any life-threatening illness. It is also advisable that you discuss with the person whom you wish to appoint as the Executor and make sure that they are willing to undertake this responsibility.

Forgetting about Kids

If you have children whether biological children, step-children or grand children, you must clearly express your wishes relating to what you wish to leave behind for them. You may have to appoint a guardian who will look after the needs of your children after you’re gone.
Even if you wish that they shouldn’t inherit from your estate you must state it clearly with the reasons, if you care so much about them so as to justify your actions. Taking steps like these ensures that the possibility of a dispute taking place is significantly reduced.

Missing out on an Asset

Your Will must list each asset that you own as well as each debt that you owe. Giving details about assets and debts ensures that there is no last minute running around to do in order to fetch details about your estate.

Along with listing each asset you should also clearly mention how you wish that particular asset to be inherited by a beneficiary. You should also include conditions in the Will, if you have any, regarding the inheritance of an asset. Life circumstances may change and your wishes may change too accordingly. For instance if the beneficiary you mentioned in your Will goes through a life altering event such as extreme illness or death you may wish that the asset is inherited differently thereon.

Issues with Ownership

Certain types of ownership can lead to troubles during the execution of your Will. For instance you hold a property jointly with your adult child. Upon your death the asset automatically transfers to the adult child and it may not have been what you desired. If the adult child has any outstanding debts, the creditors have a right to utilise the child’s assets to pay off the debt. They can make use of the funds kept in bank accounts and they can also seize any other asset that the child owns or has inherited through your Will. You must be well acquainted with the financial status of your beneficiaries so that you can make provisions accordingly.

Forgetting Details

Your Will must include details of any impending taxes such as income tax or corporation tax. Not providing details about these debts can lead to your beneficiaries inheriting less than they expected.
Other than the financial details it is also important for you to give accurate details about the gifts and bequests. Any person reading your Will should be able to clearly deduce who inherits what. One must also be able to contact the beneficiaries easily with the help of information provided in your Will such as their name, address, relationship status etc.

Forgetting to Fill in the Blanks

Due to the convenience offered by DIY Will templates provided online, they have gained in popularity as an effective method to write your own Will. If you have written your own Will in this format then it is crucial for you to check that you have filled in the blanks correctly. You should read over the document multiple times to make sure that the information provided is correct.

Not Making a Legally Valid Will

Once the Will has been drafted it must be signed by the testator and also two witnesses. Any signature which is missing can lead to difficulties when the Will reaches Probate. The Will should also have the right date as mentioning the wrong date can raise questions over its credibility. Once these formalities have been taken care of you should think of an appropriate Will storage option to keep it safe.

Not Attaching the Codicils, if Any

Until death, the testator can make several amendments to the Will. These changes should be written down in Codicils. If you have changed your Will, these codicils must be attached to the Will and any other relating documents such as Letters of Wishes or advance statements.