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last will and testament

Mistakes People Do When Drafting a Will

By making a will, you can make sure that your Townsville home and other possessions will be distributed according to your wishes when you’re gone. However, the laws around wills are complicated, and simple mistakes could cause trouble, such as invalidating the entire document or unknowingly disinheriting a loved one. To protect your final wishes, you should avoid these common mistakes when drafting your will:

1. Ignoring the guidelines

Technically, you can use any scrap of paper to write your will, but you should follow specific guidelines to make it legally binding. According to a study, 45% of Australians have an invalid will. Make sure that you comply with the particular requirements before typing a few notes and expecting the court to honor your wishes. Generally, the law requires that the testator should be 18 years old to create a will unless you are in exceptional circumstances. It should be made in writing- handwritten or printed. The testator should sign the document in the presence of two impartial witnesses. You wouldn’t want to make your beneficiaries as witnesses because it may cancel out their entitlement. You can write a DIY will, but if you want peace of mind, it may be wiser to hire an estate planning lawyer. A legal expert will ensure that you will meet the requirements set by law, and your wishes will be honored even if contested in court.

2. Naming the wrong executor

Old woman writing a letter The executor is in charge of collecting your assets, paying your debts, dealing with taxes, closing the estate, and distributing inheritance to your heirs. Given the huge and intricate responsibility, your executor should be honest, dependable, and capable of doing the duties satisfactorily. Most people assume that anyone can manage to be an executor and choose their family members, closest relatives, or oldest friends to administrate their wills. However, picking someone who doesn’t have the required competence can lead to tax problems, contested will, and lengthy delays in distributing the assets. Naming the executor of your state is not like picking the godparents of your children. Make sure to choose someone fit for the meticulous role.

3. Forgetting to make timely revisions

As time progresses, there are probably significant changes in your circumstances. These changes may include getting married or divorced, nominating a guardian for your children, buying a new asset, adopting a child, or wanting to add specific gifts. There may be situations where you must update your will because the executor or beneficiaries die or become incapacitated. Make sure to review your will and make the necessary amendments. Never update your will by handwriting changes, striking out gifts, or making notes. Writing on your will without following formalities increases the likelihood of your document to being voided or contested. It would be best to start with a new document if you intend to make any revision, omission, or addition. However, for minor changes like adding a donation, you can write a separate paper called Codicil and attached it to your existing will. There’s nothing you can do to stop someone from trying to contest your wishes after your death. However, by executing your will properly, you can ensure that your bequests will not be ignored.
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