When you create a will, you may think it’s a one-and-done situation. You write down your wishes, sign the will, and forget about it. However, if your estate plan is riddled with mistakes, it can be deemed invalid. This means your beneficiaries will have to bear the burden of fighting to have your wishes met. Familiarizing yourself with common mistakes can help you avoid them, making the process simpler. When you’re ready to start estate planning, a Washtenaw County estate planning attorney can help you get started.
What Are the Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes?
Unfortunately, one of the most significant mistakes people make when planning their estate is waiting too long to begin the process. Many falsely believe that creating a will is something people in their 40s and 50s need to do. However, if you have children, own property, or have a savings account, you should consider creating a will. Many people are faced with this reality when they have a close call that requires them to think about the future. Drafting a will can provide much-needed peace of mind for many.
Another error many make in good faith is providing specific requirements for their beneficiaries to receive their inheritance. This includes getting married or going to college. For some, this goes against their wishes and can make it incredibly difficult to contest the will. Though you may think leaving your grandchild their inheritance upon the completion of their college degree is a good idea, they may not have the means to afford to go to college and thus will be unable to receive the money or assets you wanted to leave to them.
Similarly, many forget to update their documents, which can cause issues down the line. You should update your will and trusts after significant life events like marriages, divorces, purchasing property, and having children. Even if no substantial life events occur, you should review the terms of your will every three to five years to ensure it reflects your values and wishes.
How Can an Attorney Help?
While there are many online “do-it-yourself” options, ensuring you contact a seasoned attorney is the best way to ensure your will is impenetrable. Trying to create a will on your own leaves you vulnerable to mistakes that can leave your estate plan invalid. This can be a significant burden for your executor and beneficiaries, as they must endure a lengthy legal battle to correct the errors.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the future. At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, we understand the importance of planning your estate. Our dedicated legal team will work to ensure your wishes are met. Reach out today to start achieving the peace of mind you need for your future.