You’ve heard that a will can help protect your family and loved ones even after you die and ensure your final wishes are respected. At the very least, drafting a last will can help you spell out how your assets should be distributed once you’re gone.
Drafting a last will is usually straightforward, especially if you have a small estate. However, things can be more complicated if you have a large estate. Below are some mistakes you should avoid when making your will.
1. Just planning for death
Your will is incomplete if it just addresses what should be done after you die. For your will to be complete, it should also address some things that should happen while you’re still alive.
You can accomplish this by attaching complementary advance directives. These are legally binding documents that help guide caregivers when a time comes that you can’t clearly state your wishes because of dementia or other health issues. You can even appoint specific people to handle those tasks through powers of attorney designations.
2. Failing to update your will
It’s important that you update your will after the birth of your child, after a divorce and after you start a successful business. In addition, you should constantly update your will after a major life change like moving to another state, death or marriage.
Failing to update your will could lead to unintended inheritances. Remember also to name guardians for your minor children.
3. Choosing the wrong executor
When writing your will, you need to name an executor of your estate. This person is responsible for paying any remaining debts, settling your estate and distributing your assets to your beneficiaries.
However, if you choose a person who isn’t up to the task, they may make serious mistakes that your beneficiaries will have to sort out. In some cases, the executor may try to misappropriate assets for personal gain.
Perhaps the worst mistake of them all is failing to write a will. While creating a will isn’t fun, it’s necessary. Therefore, if you don’t have one, now may be the right time to create one. Just ensure you don’t commit any of the above disastrous mistakes.