An effectively crafted Will can provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones. On the other hand, a poorly executed Will can result in a situation that’s anything but peaceful. Confused and hurt family members may argue over what they believe you intended. And a court may end up settling arguments in an expensive and emotionally exhausting way and in a manner different from what you desired.
Your Will is about putting your last wishes, hopes, desires, and choices down on paper, in black and white and for all to see. In short, the words on the paper speak for you when you cannot. Such is the power of a Will as a document. But what if there is an error that can betray your plans?
There are numerous ways in which a Will can go wrong. For a basic introduction to get you thinking like a preemptive problem-solver, consider reading a recent Forbes article titled “Wills Gone Wrong: Mistakes That Can Thwart Your Last Wishes.” There are three basic issues when a Will can go astray. First, the wording can be unclear, incomplete, incongruous or incorrect. Second, the words can be outdated. Third and finally, the words can be absolutely perfect, but the Will is nowhere to be seen or some other draft is discovered first.
If nothing else, to get it right, draft your Will with the assistance of a professional. Then, to keep your estate in order, be sure to respect your Will as the document it is. Accordingly, be careful to protect it, keep it current, and keep it within easy reach of the right people once the time comes.
The original article presents specific problems and even a few stories to illustrate them. Be sure you get it right, unlike the tragic stories in the article. Planning your estate is not a do-it-yourself project. There is just too much at stake.
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Reference: Forbes (February 20, 2014) “Wills Gone Wrong: Mistakes That Can Thwart Your Last Wishes”