Creating a Will is a relatively easy task with enormous ramifications that can place a painful burden on the lives you seek to benefit and protect. These are the most common mistakes that cause misery and hardship.
You’ve divorced, remarried, had kids, and started a new business since you initially wrote your will, but you haven’t gotten around to updating the will yet. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this could spell disaster. If you want to protect your family, make certain you update your will whenever your circumstances change significantly. It’s especially important to keep your will updated if you have minor children. Your will should include financial provisions and guardianship provisions for them.
Keep your will someplace secure, but make sure your family and your attorney know where it is. If the original isn’t found, things get complicated. If there’s a question about whether you had a will at all, the disposition of your property may be determined by state law. If your lawyer has access only to a copy of the will, there may be a question as to whether you destroyed your copy of the will because you decided to revoke it. Things will be much simpler if your family and your attorney know where your will is.
Changing circumstances may mean that you should change your beneficiaries. Don’t forget to also review your beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement plans at the same time. Beneficiary designations on these accounts should also be reviewed after life-changing events, so it’s convenient to update them when you update your will.
If there’s a property that’s not specifically accounted for in your will, you need to have a residuary clause to make sure all your property is distributed to your beneficiaries. Otherwise, property that isn’t mentioned in your will be distributed by state law, which may not be what you want at all.
Do you question the need for attorney guidance with so many online resources? Because laws and regulations are complex, and because every person has a lot at risk, more people than ever are seeking professional guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable source. That helps explain the rapid growth of our firm. Whether you happened upon this website by accident or are one of the many referrals we receive from a nearly 15-year collection of satisfied clients, our staff can provide customized estate planning guidance for you. Call us. Our number: 1 (772) 218-0480
Written by : John Mangan, JD, MBA