Three Mistakes to Avoid When Drafting a Will

The death of a loved one is never an easy transition. However, having a solid will in place can definitely help ease many of the stresses that come along with dealing with the affairs of the deceased. Keep things simple for your loved ones by avoiding common will mistakes.

Overlooking the Law

When most people draft their will, they primarily think about what it is they want. While this should be the driving force, you also have to consider the law and the parameters it sets. This is especially important when it comes witness requirements as what is necessary varies from state to state.

For example, in some states, a single witness is necessary to validate a will; however, in other states you may need two or more witnesses. Failure to perform research in this area could prevent your will from being executed as desired or cause more legal hurdles for your loved ones you've left behind.

Making Handwritten Edits

Don't simply make a handwritten edit to your will. Typically, when you create a will with an attorney, both you and the attorney will retain a copy. In the future, should you need to make a change, it's not enough to simply write in these changes. 

In the court of law, the copy held by your attorney will typically be considered the legal, binding document. The changes you made on your copy won't be validated, meaning your final wish may not be executed as desired. If you need to make a change to a will, it is imperative that you do so under the guidance of an attorney to avoid any complications.  

Leaving Money to Children Without a Conservator

If you have minor children and you plan to leave money to them within your will, don't make the mistake of doing so without a conservator, which can be a parent or another adult. For example, if you have a five-year old who you plan to give $250,000 when they turn 21, you don't just want to leave this in an account exclusively in their name.

With this type of arrangement, in the event of an emergency or crisis, the child would be unable to access these funds. With a conservator, you can establish parameters by which these funds can be accessed if necessary and also arrange for regular conservator reporting to ensure the funds are not be used improperly.

 All of these mistakes and many others can be avoided by working with an attorney. An attorney like Donald B Linsky & Associate Pa will consider your needs as well as the law to ensure your will is solid and complete.