6 Mistakes To Avoid With Your Will
Updated: May 15, 2021
Most people don’t want to think about the day they die. It’s a difficult conversation, whether you’re young or old. But when it comes to expressing your final wishes, including who would take care of your children, who inherits your stuff, and putting someone in charge of ensuring all of that happens, you need to have a plan. That’s right; I’m talking about a Will.
Your Last Will and Testament is just one of many estate planning documents we can craft for you, but it’s easily the first one most people think of. If you have one, let’s make sure that it’s the best it can possibly be.
If you don’t have one, then we should talk — sooner rather than later.
What is a Will, and how does it work?
In simple terms, a Will is a formal legal document that lets your family and the probate court know how you want your possessions (financial or otherwise) distributed. It’s also great for specifying funeral wishes, appointing guardians, passing down values and ethics, and more. Think of it as a list of very specific directions that you leave behind, and it should cover as much as humanly possible to reduce stress and heartache for your loved ones.
Great care must be taken when creating a Will so that it is easy to follow and legally valid.
Common mistakes people make with their Will
They don’t have one — Any estate planning attorney will tell you the biggest mistake people make with their Will is not having one. Even though none of us wants to think about death, creating a Will at least gives you and your family control over what happens next. If you avoid it altogether, that’s when the state makes key decisions for you. And no one wants that. Even the most basic Wills for people with limited possessions and family members clear up confusion and cost.
Waiting until they’re older — Waiting until later in life when you can account for children, grandchildren, accumulated wealth, etc., might appear to make perfect sense. But you also run the risk of not getting something in place on time. Life is unpredictable. We don’t know when we will die. So, the mere act of waiting until the “right time” might backfire. Simply put, you are never too young to craft a Will.
DIY Wills — In today’s technology-driven world, it can be tempting to go online, find one of a myriad of templates, and set up a Will on your own for very cheap or even free. Please don’t do this. Not only do templates not account for your specific situation, but they will most likely be invalid in the eyes of the court when it’s all said and done if not executed correctly. There is no cookie-cutter solution to account for your unique life. Hire a qualified estate planning attorney who can draft your Will correctly.
No one knows they have a Will — Imagine being a loved one who has no idea if you have a Will or not. Not only should you craft a Will, but you should let your family know you have one and where to find it when the time comes. It is also wise to keep your estate planning attorney’s contact information with your Will.
They haven’t updated their Will — So you have a Will. Now what? Keep it handy and visit with the attorney who drafted it for you every 2-3 years to ensure it accounts for any major life changes (new children, grandchildren, deceased beneficiaries, changes in executors, sale of property, new businesses, etc.). We tell our clients that their Will is drafted to be a robust document meant to account for life’s what-ifs but checking in every 2-3 years is always a good idea.
They only have a Will — While a Will is great and can cover pretty much anything in terms of planning, it is not the only estate planning document available to you. It’s important to sit with an estate planning attorney and discuss your unique needs and wishes to ensure all your bases are covered. You may find that having a Will and Trust will serve your family’s needs better long-term. Powers of Attorney can also come in handy for medical reasons. All of this is to say that you shouldn’t stop at a Will. Look at all the available options to protect you and your family.
Call Caitlyn Ashley Law today!!
Having a plan for the future is the most important gift you can give yourself and your family. Granted, none of us will ever know for sure what is around every corner in life. And just thinking about the what-ifs — what if I were to die or become incapacitated tomorrow; what if my child with special needs has no one to care for her; what if all my “stuff” isn’t passed onto the right people — can be overwhelming. But having a plan that accounts for your family’s unique circumstances, puts your affairs in order, has concrete solutions to your concerns, lays out your wishes and goals, and protects your family’s future provides peace of mind for the road ahead.
Caitlyn Ashley Law in Denton, Texas, will counsel you on which documents are best suited for your needs and ensure they are flexible enough to meet your changing needs for years to come.
Call us today at 940-320-7496 (work) or 940-391-8592 (business mobile) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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