Learn How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Will Writing

July 31, 2023    Probate Lawyers Perth
Learn How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Will Writing

Estate planning and will-making are some of the tasks which get neglected by many Australians. But probate lawyers in Perth have said that these tasks stand out as vital steps which convey all the important information.

Some of the information is how a person wants their estate to get divided among the heirs after his/her demise, what to include in the will, etc. Having a valid will not just offers peace of mind to the will-maker but also to the surviving family members.

Estate planning is utilized for getting the affairs of an individual in order right before they pass away. This includes a will, and a power of attorney is in place if one loses its ability to perform any type of activity.

Not making a will can lead to intestacy, and a person’s assets will get divided on the rules of intestacy. If one doesn’t update an existing will, it can lead to disputes among the family members.

How to Avoid Mistakes in Will Writing and Estate Planning?

There is a high possibility that one must end up making plenty of errors or mistakes when conducting estate planning or while making a will. But there are certain ways through which he/she can easily prevent such errors from taking place:

1. Don’t Depend on the “Do-It-Yourself” Will Option  

The wills probate lawyer has pointed out that “DIY Wills” have gained a lot of popularity these days. It’s pretty understandable as individuals wish to save both money and time and want to avoid all the legal fees.

But all the problems start to take place when one starts making all kinds of mistakes in their Will. Some of the common mistakes people make are adding contradictory or confusing statements, which include assets that he/she doesn’t legally own.

Another mistake people make while creating a will is not meeting all the formalities that are needed, such as witnesses, signing, and many more.

These types of issues can be pretty expensive to cover after the will-maker passes away. This can lead to confusion and create stress for the executors and the beneficiaries.

So, the best way to avoid such situations is by not opting for the DIY wills and instead speak to a legal professional.

They are experts in handling will-making and estate planning-related work. These professionals will provide assistance and advice on how to perfectly create an error-free will quickly and effectively.

2. Get to Know What the Assets Are 

A common mistake that every will-maker makes is including all those assets which don’t have a legal title. Properties owned by superannuation funds, trusts, life insurance policies, and joint tenants are assets that fall outside a person’s estate.

One cannot deal with such properties with the help of a Will. That’s why one must clarify all the assets that they own legally and what type of assets are part of his/her estate right before they try to put them in the will.

3. Appoint the Right Executors 

Executors are known to administer a person’s estate by finalizing their affairs, paying up the liabilities, and calling in their assets while working hard for the beneficiaries.

If one has 1 or 2 executors and they cannot reach an agreement, the estate’s administration will get delayed, and the cost might get incurred.

The professional wills lawyer in WA says that individuals will choose more than one executor to be “fair.” For instance, it’s normal for the will-maker to appoint over 2 children as the beneficiary without making any consideration for their ability to get along with each other.

Besides that, it’s also normal to appoint a 2nd spouse without considering his/her relationship with the children of the deceased person before their marriage.

When the executors can’t make a proper decision together or just don’t come to an agreement, it can hinder the estate’s administration. It can also have a negative effect on relationships.

That’s why one must look for a suitable person who can perform well as an executor. There might be a high chance of a dispute taking place, or the relationship among the family members is pretty fragile.

For such reasons, one must appoint a lawyer, an independent 3rd party, or a trustee company as the executor for the estate planning work.

4. Consider Testamentary Trust as a Tactic 

Testamentary trusts stand out as an excellent tool, which most will makers avoid. Many people think that it’s pretty complicated or it’s not just for wealthy individuals. Well, that’s not correct.

It can be a highly effective strategy because it will protect the beneficiaries’ inheritance from bankruptcy or prevent the inheritance from getting distributed between the separated spouses through the Family Court.

A testamentary trust can offer all the beneficiaries with tax planning possibilities like flexibility within the distribution of income.

5. Update and Review the Will Periodically

The wills and estate lawyers have pointed out that every will-maker should keep updating and reviewing their will in a periodic manner. One must review the will every 12 months after it’s created.

He/she should also make all the necessary updates if the life circumstances of a person change. Buying and selling off properties, new relationships, children, divorce, and marriages are some of the life events which might need modifications so that it reflects the new status.

6. Place the Power of Attorney Documents in Place 

Estate planning is crucial to make sure that a document for “power of attorney” is in place. It will give an individual the right to make all the medical, personal, legal, and monetary decisions on behalf of the will-maker if any unwanted event makes him/her lose their ability to do so.

The professional Perth lawyers wills have said that the Tribunal or the Court will appoint someone as the guardian or administrator to handle all the will-related matters.

They will make all the decisions based on the will-maker’s needs and distribute the assets among the surviving family members after the will-maker passes away.

Ending Note

Will-making and estate planning are important tasks that one must do right before one passes away.

But to make sure that the work is done correctly, he/she should avoid making a DIY will, place the documents of power of attorney in place, choose the correct executor, etc.

One can also ask for advice from the probate lawyers Perth to gain more information about estate planning and will-making before they proceed further.

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