Despite the importance of estate planning, a majority of Americans seem to neglect it. In fact, 60% of American adults do not have a will.
Having more than enough to worry about already, many people do not want to add their mortality to their list of concerns. But writing a will can help you take good care of those you love, protect your assets, and prevent future disputes.
But just creating a will is not enough. You need to take the necessary measures to avoid common pitfalls that make your will legally sound.
Avoid these five common mistakes when writing a will.
Only Planning for the End of Life
A legal will should not just cover what will happen when you die. It should also articulate what should happen while you are still living.
To achieve this, you will need to create a living will as well as the last will and testament form.
The living will outlines your health care wishes while you are still alive. The last will and testament form gives your directives on estate inheritance after your death.
When drafting a living will remember to include advance directives.
Failing to Update Your Will
Making a will is not something you do once and forget about it. You need to update your will according to significant life changes.
Failure to do this can result in unintended inheritances and gifts, leaving your estate in a big mess.
Ignoring the Law
Each state has different legal requirements for creating a will. So before writing your will, familiarize yourself with your state’s stipulations for creating one.
Specifically, find out your state’s restrictions and requirements on matters such as; the number of witnesses required, selection criteria for witnesses, age, and notarization.
Failing to Name an Executor
An executor is a person responsible for ensuring that your will is followed to the letter. In your will, you should include the name of this individual/entity.
But before you select an executor, it is essential to get their permission. This is not something you would want to be a surprise.
Additionally, consider selecting a second executor. In case the first executor is unable to carry out their duties for whatsoever reason; the second executor will fill in.
Including Burial Wishes in the Will
Including your burial instructions in your will is not ideal, as wills are typically read several weeks after the funeral. As such, your burial instructions might be read too late, and this can leave your loved ones stressing about not observing your last wish.
To avoid this, write your burial instructions in a separate letter and tell your family where to find it.
Who to Trust When Writing a Will
Considering these potential pitfalls, writing a will can be a little bit tricky without a helping hand.
If you do not know how to write a will, Lilac City Law is here to help. We take our time to get to know you, your goals, and circumstances. This way, we can help you protect your assets better and secure the future of your loved ones.
Whether you want to create a will or maximize the effectiveness of the one you have already created, our experts will ensure that your last wishes are fully observed.
Contact us today to get started!
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