Wills that are meant to protect your estate or your assets could end in probate if they are incorrectly written. Will planning should be carefully done, ensuring you cover all of your bases. Mistakes or omissions in the will can be costly to your heirs, create havoc and confusion, and end up invalidating your last wishes.
If you want to protect your Palm Beach, Florida, estate, and ensure that your last wishes are carried out after your death, there are some common errors you can avoid when creating a will. First, have an attorney draw up your will and avoid using a “create your own will” template. At the very least, if you use one of a do-it-yourself will kits, have the completed version reviewed by an attorney to ensure the wording is accurate and completely clear.
Wording that is unclear may end up in probate court for a judge to decipher what your intentions were. For instance, if you leave your estate and possessions to your husband, and fail to specify children from a previous marriage, you may disinherit those children unintentionally. Leaving assets or wealth to remaining family members, without specifying particular family members, could be disputed by far-reaching relatives who claim to be family members.
Make sure you update your will whenever circumstances or people in your life change. Update the beneficiaries on other documents as well, such as insurance policies and retirement funds. Ensure all old copies of your will are destroyed.
Last, a will is no good if no one can find it. Be sure to let someone know where to find your will unless it is safely residing with your attorney. Also, make sure it is in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or locked safe. Someone could get the will and help it to disappear if it is not favorable to them.
Source: Forbes, “Wills Gone Wrong: Mistakes That can Thwart Your Last Wishes” Sonya Stinson, Feb. 20, 2014