You are aware of the value of having a last will and testament, which safeguards your family and fulfills your ultimate wishes. Now that you’re settling down to draft your will, keep an eye out for these frequent yet preventable errors.
We all know that having a final will and testament allows you to ensure that your desires for the disposition of your estate are carried out. You can breathe easy after everything is set up, right? Look through the following often occurring wills faults before you breathe out. You can potentially steer clear of certain foreseeable but easily avoidable hazards by doing this.
1. Remember to update your will
After your divorce, the birth of your kid, your major move, and the beginning of your now-thriving business, you truly planned to update your will, but you haven’t had the time. Right now is the moment.
You should reevaluate your last will if there has been a significant change in your life or your financial situation, such as a transfer to a new state, a birth, a death, a marriage, or the start of a new business. If you don’t, your estate can receive accidental bequests and inheritances and become a huge mess. It is crucial to choose guardians for your little children in case both of their natural parents pass away.
2. Remember to provide for the IRS
You must think about the Internal Revenue Service and your state’s tax system at least once a year, generally around mid-April. Add another time: Because estate tax regulations are continuously changing, you cannot afford to forget about them while drafting your will.
Making the mistaken assumption that their estates aren’t valuable enough to be subject to the inheritance tax system is among the most frequent errors people make when drafting last wills. The fact is that certain property may still be taxed even if it isn’t part of your estate. Your estate may be taxable if it contains assets like retirement accounts, trusts, and life insurance proceeds.
3. Remember to appoint a proper executor
Make a sensible choice for your executor because they will be in charge of managing your estate. You must update your will if your designated executor is unable to carry out their duties for any reason (e.g., is no longer of sound mind or has left the country).
4. Don’t forget to mention the intended recipients.
You should give serious thought to who you want identified as a beneficiary in your will regardless of whether this error coincides with someone failing to amend their last will.
Another thing to keep in mind about beneficiaries is that certain states don’t allow one to be both a beneficiary and a witness at the will’s signing. For this reason, it’s normally better to have witnesses who aren’t included in the will itself.
5. Don’t forget to dispose of everything
It’s crucial to give serious thought to your assets and make provisions for anything you want to provide to your beneficiaries. In the event that a specified beneficiary cannot inherit as planned (for example, the beneficiary has passed away), it is also a good idea to include certain what-if clauses.
A residuary clause can help ensure that all of your assets go to your beneficiaries and are not confiscated by the government. This clause is sometimes referred to as a “leftovers” clause since it clearly refers to the assets that remain after the distribution of the specifically listed things.
If you don’t have a residuary clause and have assets that weren’t dispersed, you have died partially intestate, which means you didn’t have a will, and your state’s laws will determine what happens to any assets that weren’t expressly named.
Avoid making a last will in spite of these possible problems; for the majority of Americans, it is the most significant document they will ever sign.