Making a will is difficult with Guillaumes. It can be emotionally stressful, however, when you want to ensure the long-term future of your loved one, this task is essential. You’ve worked hard. Do you really want your money, to be distributed in a way that is against your wishes, after your death?
Here are five mistakes you need to avoid while making a will.
Failing to Update Your Will
You will experience many changes, over the course of your life. Each of these changes may have an impact on your will. When did you last update or make a new will? 10 years ago or more? Since then, you may have remarried, had grandchildren or your children may have gotten divorced. May you even have stepchildren in your family now?
Your verbal wishes do not carry the legal authority of a will. If you want your wealth to flow to your grandchildren, after your death, you need a will. You may want your money diverted to another branch in your family tree, so you’ll need a will to ensure your wishes are met. If you don’t have a will, get one made. If you have a will, you should consider updating them.
If you don’t want your estate, the entirety of your money and property, to go to your someone you need to have a will. If you are bitterly separated from your wife and are currently living with your beloved partner, then you need a will to ensure your wife doesn’t get all of your assets, at the time of your death.
Furthermore, your executor may have died since the time you created your will. Your executor is the person you’ve appointed to carry out the term of the will. Without the executor, you may have a number of potential problems.
Naming an Unsuitable Person as Executor
The executor should be someone who’s responsible, calm under pressure and trustworthy. The executor is responsible for distributing your estate to the relevant parties based on the terms of the will. Don’t risk your loved one’s financial future by appointing someone who’s unreliable.
Failing to Prepare for the Worst
If you were to die tomorrow, you may feel confident that your spouse will care for your children. However, do you know what would happen if your spouse died at the same time? Who would care for your children? You need to appoint a guardian to care for your children in the event of both you and your partner’s death. The guardian would be responsible for the children until they reach the age of 18.
You need to appoint the guardian in writing. It needs to be signed, dated and included in your will. If you don’t appoint a guardian for your children under the age of 18, they would be left without a parent and the courts would have to appoint a guardian. The person chosen by the courts may not be the person you would have chosen to care for your children.
Assuming That You Will Own the House You Live In
Are you sure you would still own your home after your partner or spouse dies? You may jointly own your property, with equal rights to the property as ‘joint tenants’ or as ‘tenants in common’, with different shares of the property.
With Joint tenants, also known as “beneficial joint tenants’, ownership of the property will pass automatically to the other owner if one of them dies. Therefore, if you are a joint tenant you cannot leave your property to someone in your will.
If your own the property as “tenants in common” ownership will not automatically pass to the other owner. Therefore, you can pass your share of the property over to others, in your will.
Preparing an Illegal Will
Your will must be signed and dated by you in the presence of two adult witnesses. Both of these people need to be over the age of 18. The witnesses must sign the document in your presence in order for the make the will valid. The witness cannot be a person or married to a person, who will benefit from your will or inherit anything from you.
If you have any doubts about the validity of your will, you need to check with a professional.