Estate planning protects your loved ones should you become incapacitated or die. However, its benefits can be limited if you make mistakes. All documents in your plan, including the will, should be drafted correctly to avoid issues like contests.
Here are four mistakes to avoid when creating a will.
1. Not working with professionals
Creating a will can be complicated as it involves numerous processes. Thus, it may help to work with professionals. For instance, you need a tax professional to protect your loved ones from liabilities. A financial advisor can help you understand your estate and the best ways to distribute your assets, and an attorney can ensure you observe all legal procedures. Further, you need a valuation professional to get accurate values of your properties.
2. Making changes illegally
Of course, you will update your will when you have a life change. However, after signing a will, it becomes an official document that can’t be altered without following the correct procedures. Your attorney can guide you on how to make changes to it legally.
3. Not providing clear instructions
Your will should be clear, from the assets each beneficiary gets to what to do with assets you don’t want to distribute. Further, you should list non-probate assets and how to distribute them. This can prevent conflicts. Besides, your executor’s work will be more manageable.
4. Forgetting assets
You should include all your assets (except those already set to transfer through other means, like payable-on-death accounts) in your will. Forgetting assets can lead to conflicts. Thus, before signing, confirm that all assets are included with their correct values.
You should draft a will that states your wishes and is in compliance with the law. It will be best to get legal guidance to create a binding will.