Winding up a deceased person’s estate is necessary from both legal and emotional standpoints. Loved ones need the closure that comes with wrapping up the deceased’s earthly possessions so they can move through the grieving process. And this includes attending to the practical matters of dealing with the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
Creating a will is a great way of ensuring that your assets and finances are distributed according to your wishes after passing on. However, if a will has defects, someone might contest it. Here are three mistakes that can easily result in conflicts over your will.
You fail to update your will following a major life event
Once you have created a will, it is tempting to lock it up in some safe and throw away the key. However, it is important that you review and update your will after going through major life events like getting married, divorced or getting a child. It is also important that you update your will to reflect changes in your assets.
You have more than one will
It is not unusual for a person to create multiple wills during the course of their lifetime. If you have more than one will at the time of your passing, the court will refer to the latest will document when distributing your estate. However, there can be instances where old wills can cause confusion resulting in contestation. For instance, if you create a new will with misspelled names, the court can invalidate the said will. You can avoid contestation issues by destroying any previous wills.
You include something illegal in the will
Your will can be invalidated if you include terms that are deemed illegal. For instance, you cannot include a jointly-owned asset like a matrimonial home in the will. Also, you cannot include 401(Ks) or life insurance in your will as these documents already feature a section where you assign a beneficiary.
The death of a loved one triggers a lot of changes including assigning the deceased’s assets to new owners. Usually, the deceased’s will dictates how their assets and debts are distributed. Avoiding these common mistakes can save your dependents from the pain of will contestation.