Making a Will can be a bit of a daunting process, and certain things can invalidate your Will. One of the biggest issues with this is that mistakes are generally not spotted until you pass away and, therefore, too late to rectify. Our team have compiled some of the common mistakes whilst making a Will we see. One of the best ways to ensure you have a valid will is by speaking to our experts and use our professional Will writing service.
Having a Will that is not current
When you write a Will you take into your current circumstances; these can change during your lifetime. Some factors that may make you consider reviewing your Will are:
- Birth of a child or grand children
- The loss of a beneficiary of the Will
- Gaining step-children
- Marriage or Divorce
- Buying a new house
- Winning or gaining a large sum of money or assets
Updating an existing will is not an easy process; The recommendation is that if you have multiple updates, especially changes in beneficiaries, then you should create a new Will to avoid any confusion.
The Will was incorrectly witnessed
For a will to be valid, you need to sign it in the presence of two witnesses, and they then also need to sign the Will.
The witnesses must be over the age of 18 and UK Citizens. They cannot be a beneficiary of the Will and must be physically present. For more details regarding witnesses, you can check our blog Who can witness your Will?
Storing a Photocopy of your Will
To action your Will the original version of the document is needed; a photocopy is not acceptable. It will be complicated for the executor to obtain a grant of probate and manage your estate without it. So ensure the people close to you know where the original of your Will is stored.
If you have made a will when you are single, then in the event you do get married your Will is no longer valid. Your spouse will automatically inherit half of your estate under the intestacy rules and your children may lose out.
Not giving a reason for disinheriting
If you do not give a specific and valid reason for leaving a dependent out of a Will and outline clearly where you would like your estate to go, it can be contested after you pass away.
Forgetting to name an executor
If you fail to name an executor in your Will, then the probate court will appoint someone. This may not be the person you wish to deal with your estate.
Making a “DIY” will
Just writing your wishes down on a piece of paper is not enough to be legally binding. Wills are complicated documents and must follow general rules.
If the Will cannot be understood because of how it has been written, it could be up to the courts to decide the person’s intentions.
You need to include all your assets. Tangible assets are often remembered, such as houses and heirlooms, but don’t forget about intangible assets such as bonds, bank accounts and shares.
Being too specific
When writing a Will you shouldn’t be too specific as this can cause confusion if the item has changed. If you specify a particular car, for example, “my oldest child will get the Fiat” and then this changes to an Audi, then it could be disputed later on. It would be better to specify the oldest child receives the car in my name.
Not specifying step-children
When you specify “my children” in your Will, step-children or foster children won’t be included, even if you consider them to be your own. Only Biological or legally adopted children will be considered. If you want step-children to benefit from your will you need to specify this.
When writing a Will there are many pitfalls. As the document is a legal document, it must be written as such. To avoid mistakes whilst making a Will and therefore having something that doesn’t exactly match your wishes you must
- Ensure you review it regularly
- Create a new one if needed
- Have it written by a professional Will Writer to avoid making mistakes.
Sovereign Planning is here to help you every step of the way. Give yourself peace of mind and contact us today.