A survey conducted by AARP reports that 2 out of 5 people over the age of 45 do not have a will.
While estate planning can result in uncomfortable conversations, failing to take action may leave a legal mess. Additionally, being afraid of will writing mistakes doesn’t justify avoiding a plan to pass your assets on to loved ones.
Probate in any state can cost thousands of dollars and take months, or even years, to resolve. Whether you’re updating your will or creating your first, avoiding these mistakes becomes crucial to the process.
Read this post today to learn what you or a will writing service must avoid at all costs!
Giving Assets Not Covered by a Will
Retirement accounts, trusts, and other types of fiduciary arrangements may not need to be in a will. If you name an asset that does not need to be there, that can cause unintended legal complications.
Creating Joint Tenancy Assets
At various times of your life, you may share a bank account or ownership of property with another person. This individual might be a spouse, child, or blood relative in most circumstances. While this may provide convenience, it can complicate the administration of your estate.
State legislators often pass laws that require an estate to go through formal probate that has joint assets. Depending on your situation, you can resolve this by ensuring accounts or ownership pass to a beneficiary.
Unclear Descriptions or Directions
Distributing personal assets depends on not taking a description for granted. It can amaze anyone how much doubt a lawyer or judge can place on the language in a testament.
This practice especially applies if you have heirs or heiresses with similar names. Additionally, you need to specify items you own that have like-sounding descriptions.
Failing to Revoke an Old Version
Do not assume that you have revoked a will until you understand the specifics in state law. In some cases, destroying the paperwork on your own may not be enough.
For example, Georgia Code says that the intent to revoke is necessary. If that comes into question, the executor for wills can republish an older version if they also have signatures from witnesses.
Forgetting to Make Changes
You cannot assume that the court system will honor the “spirit” of your will after you die. As your life and circumstances change, so should your testament. Understanding how a living trust works can go a long way toward achieving this goal and writing a will as well.
Some states allow a handwritten will with or without a signature to serve as the testament for probate. However, most U.S. citizens need to have their signature with two witnesses to have a valid document.
Are You Still Worried About Making Will Writing Mistakes?
It’s natural to worry about will writing mistakes, especially considering the complexity of probate law. A service that provides a template and some guidance may not give you all the confidence you need. No matter what route you choose, having an attorney review your testament is a wise choice.
Did you find information that was useful for your estate planning today? Check out more great articles like this one on our blog today!