Many people don't realize the importance of estate planning. If you have a small estate, writing a will can be fairly simple and straightforward. However, if your estate is large, it can quickly become complicated and convoluted.
Here are the 5 most common mistakes you should avoid when writing your will.
1.Naming the Wrong Person as Executor
An executor is the person responsible for:
- settling an estate;
- paying any debts; and
- dispersing all assets to the beneficiaries listed in the will.
An executor doesn't have to be a legal or financial professional to complete the job, which is why we recommend hiring an attorney to help complete the process. If put into the wrong hands, an inexperienced person could end up creating unnecessary complications. This person could mistakenly give assets to the wrong people or even intentionally mismanage the estate for personal gain.
2.Ignoring the Guidelines
Each state has its own guidelines governing what is considered to be a legal will. In the state of Texas, a person must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind to create a will. There must also be at least 2 witnesses when the will is signed.
Failure to uphold either of these guidelines may result in a judge declaring the will invalid. If this happens, the estate inheritance would then be decided by a judge in a court of law.
3.Leaving Out Assets
The very reason to create a will is to ensure your assets will go to the people you want them to. If you have written a will and forgotten to include any assets, they will become subject to the Texas state rules; even if you forget to leave out something minor like an antique armoire. If two of your family members really want the armoire, it could turn into a legal battle that could have been avoided if it had been in the will.
4.Forgetting to Update Your Will
Life is constantly changing, which means you'll need to keep your will updated with each important life change.
Examples of important changes include:
- getting married;
- getting divorced;
- having children; and/or
- career changes.
It is a good idea to go over your will with an attorney after each important life milestone. It will prevent confusion for your heirs and benefactors if you die unexpectedly.
5.Failing to Name a Guardian for Your Children
If you are the parent of young children, ensuring your children will be taken care of by a legal guardian should be a top priority. A will allows you to name one or multiple people to act as a legal or financial guardian to your children in your stead. If a guardian isn't appointed, the court will step in and choose one they think would give your children the most fulfilling life.
Contact Labovitz Law Firm Today
Our estate planning attorneys can ease the process of cataloging and dividing your assets for you. We are detail-oriented and will do our best to ensure your will remains valid after you are deceased.
Call our firm today at (817) 374-4056 or contact us onlinefor a free consultation.