There are a number of common mistakes that people make when drafting their Will. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes.
Video: What Are Some Common Mistake People Make When Making Their Will?
1. Not having a Will
Without a Will, the laws of intestacy will determine how your assets are distributed upon your death. This may not be in line with your wishes and could mean that your loved ones do not receive what you intended for them to have.
2. Not updating your Will
If you don't keep your Will up-to-date, it may no longer reflect your wishes. For example, if you've had children or grandchildren since you last made a Will, they won't automatically be included unless you update your Will to include them.
3. Appointing an unsuitable Executor
Your Executor is the person who will carry out your wishes as set out in your Will. It's important to choose someone you trust who will be able to deal with your estate after your death.
4. Not providing for loved ones
If you have young children, it's important to appoint a guardian in your Will to take care of them if you die while they're still minors. You should also consider providing for other family members or close friends who may be financially dependent on you.
5. Not making adequate provision for your spouse or civil partner
In England and Wales, if you don't make adequate provision for your spouse or civil partner in your Will, they can apply to the court for a "financial provision order". This could result in them receiving a greater share of your estate than you had intended.
6. Not dealing with debts and liabilities
If you die owing money, your estate will be used to pay off your creditors before your beneficiaries receive anything. You should therefore make sure that your Will includes provision for the payment of any debts and liabilities you may have.
7. Not being clear about your wishes
Your Will should be as clear and concise as possible to avoid any ambiguity or confusion. If there is any doubt about what you mean, it could lead to disputes between your beneficiaries which could delay or even prevent them from receiving their inheritance.
8. Making assumptions about the law
There are many myths surrounding Wills and estate planning, so it's important not to make any assumptions about the law. For example, many people believe that if they die without a Will, their estate will automatically go to their spouse. However, this is not always the case.
9. Not reviewing your Will regularly
Your personal circumstances can change over time, so it's important to review your Will periodically to make sure it still reflects your wishes. For example, if you get married or divorced, have children or grandchildren, or buy or sell property, you should update your Will to reflect these changes.
10. Free Will Templates
Free Will templates do not take into consideration your unique circumstances and as a result, may not be valid. If you make a mistake, it could invalidate your Will and cause problems for your loved ones after your death.
11. Not having witnesses
Your Will must be signed by you and two witnesses who are over the age of 18. The witnesses must be present at the same time as you sign the Will and they must also sign the Will in front of you.
12. Not storing your Will safely
Once your Will is signed and witnessed, it's important to store it in a safe place where it can be easily found by your Executor after your death. You should also let your Executor know where the Will is stored so that they can easily locate it.
13. Not telling your Executor
Your Executor is the person who will carry out your wishes as set out in your Will. It's important to choose someone you trust and to let them know that they have been appointed as your Executor. This will ensure that they are able to deal with your estate after your death.
14. Not telling your beneficiaries
Your beneficiaries are the people who will inherit from you under your Will. It's important to let them know that they are named in your Will so that they can be prepared for what will happen after your death.
Making a Will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your loved ones and ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. However, there are many common mistakes that people make when making their Will. By avoiding these mistakes, you can help to ensure that your Will is valid and that your beneficiaries receive their inheritance according to your wishes.