People make six common mistakes when constructing a will. Here, Sagalegal's Emma Myers lists six remedies...
Everybody knows about the importance of writing a will, but when it comes to actually creating one it is easy to make mistakes.
Common errors include...
1) Incorrectly signing or witnessing the will, making it invalid or requiring additional work when it comes to proving the will after death;
2) Poor binding leading the Probate Office to suspect pages may have been removed and requiring additional work to be done to prove that is not the case, causing delays and possible disagreement;
3) Dependents, such as new grand children or new spouses, being accidentally excluded;
4) The will being lost after being improperly stored.
But these are mistakes that are easy to avoid, says Emma Myers, head of wills, probate and lifetime planning for SagaLegal.co.uk...
1) First off, make sure you choose the right will for you. There are several different types which change according to your circumstances and wishes.
2) Think carefully about who you want to draw up your will; after all, it is one of the most important documents you will ever have. If you decide to do it yourself, ensure you seek legal advice to ensure it is correctly drawn up as mistakes are easy to make. If seeking a solicitor, will-writing specialist or online legal service provider, it is best to choose one which is SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) registered. Make sure to check they have the relevant insurance should something go wrong at a later date.
3) Do some research and have a good understanding of what a will can do. If you are using a professional, don't be shy to ask lots of questions and to explain exactly what you want to happen to your estate. When it comes to a document as significant as a will, there are no bad questions to ask.
4) Before you sign, make sure to check your will thoroughly. If in doubt, ask for clarification.
5) Make sure your will is properly and safely stored. Look for providers who offer a print, bind and store service so your executors know exactly where your will is when they need it. If your will cannot be found, the wishes therein cannot be put into action. For example, if someone who would otherwise benefit under intestacy found your will, could you be sure they would announce it rather than plead ignorance to secure a windfall?
6) Don't forget, if your circumstances change through divorce, re-marriage or new births, your will may well need to be updated. Never assume that your estate will automatically pass on to your next of kin as this is not always the case.
>This article first appeared on Your Money <
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