Having a will is one of the best ways to protect your loved ones when you die, but too many people put it off. Some are just busy and forgetful. Others don’t like to dwell on their mortality.
However, delaying the process could leave you with a will that’s not valid or doesn’t reflect your wishes. When you want to write a will you need to have the answer to the following question. How to write a will in Australia? You also need to be aware of the mistakes that you must avoid.
Mistakes to avoid when writing a will
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a will:
- Don’t do it yourself – This is the biggest mistake people make when writing a will, says attorney John Harte of Harte Law Firm PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. He says he has reviewed thousands of wills written by individuals and sees the same mistakes repeated over and over again. They include naming heirs who have already died, misspelling names and failing to sign the document or sign it correctly.
- Forgetting to update beneficiary designations – Simply updating your will isn’t enough if you want your assets to be divided according to your wishes after you die, Harte says. You also need to update beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, retirement accounts and investment accounts so they don’t override what you have in your will.
- Not having a backup executor – It’s important to appoint.
- Not naming a guardian for your children: If no one is named in the will to care for your children if something happens to both parents, the court decides who raises them. That may not be who you would want.
- Not keeping your will up to date: Review your will periodically and make changes as needed — when a child reaches majority age, when a beneficiary dies or when your estate-planning goals change for any other reason.
- Not outlining funeral wishes: Writing down what kind of funeral arrangements you want can help make things easier on grieving family members and avoid potential conflicts over decisions such as burial versus cremation.
- Not looking into the laws of your state: Each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to making a will. For instance, some states have requirements for how many witnesses are needed and what they must do to validate the will.
- Not having enough witnesses: Some states don’t require witnesses, while others require two or three. If you don’t meet the legal requirements where you live, your will might be invalidated.
Making a mistake when writing your will can mean of all of your hard work and preparation have been ruined. It is important to be careful, thoughtful and diligent when you are making one to ensure everything is done correctly. The above mentioned are some of the mistakes to avoid when you are writing a will. The effort is worth it.