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common mistakes

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Will

Whether you’ve already created your will or not, it is important to carefully evaluate the content. Many people make mistakes that conflict with their wishes. Avoid these common mistakes when creating your will to ensure that your final wishes are honored after you pass.

7 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Creating Your Will

Often, individuals gather their end-of-life documents early in life and then forget all about them. Not only is it important to gather the content, but it is also important to analyze it for possible loopholes or inconsistencies. Check your will for the following 8 mistakes.

1. Inconsistencies Between the Will and the Trust

Common Inconsistencies Between Wills and Trusts

1. Misaligned Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations in wills pertain to assets within the probate estate, whereas trusts manage assets held within the trust itself. Inconsistencies in beneficiary designations between the two documents can result in conflicts during asset distribution.

2. Incorrect Asset Ownership

Assets must be appropriately titled and funded into the trust to fall under its governance. Failure to transfer assets into the trust correctly may lead to their distribution according to the will’s instructions, causing inconsistencies in asset allocation.

3. Divergent Executor and Trustee Designations

The executor named in the will oversees the probate process, while the trustee manages trust-held assets. Inconsistent appointments of different individuals as executor and trustee, without coordination, can result in administrative inconsistencies.

4. Conflicting Contingent Instructions

Wills often contain contingent instructions for scenarios not covered by the trust. Conflicts between these instructions and the trust’s terms can create inconsistencies in handling certain assets or situations.

5. Variation in Legal Formalities

Wills and trusts adhere to distinct legal formalities. Non-compliance with the required formalities for creating or amending either document may lead to inconsistencies or challenges to their validity.

6. Unclear Revocation or Amendment Provisions

Conflicting provisions regarding the revocation or amendment of the will or trust can cause uncertainty about which document takes precedence when changes occur in the estate plan. Therefore, to prevent inconsistencies between wills and trusts, meticulous drafting, coordination, and periodic review by estate planning legal professionals are essential. Additionally, regular updates and communication ensure consistency and clarity within the estate plan

2. Accidentally Leaving People Out

If you were divorced and re-married, your assets may be legally tied to your current spouse, leaving children from the first marriage out of the inheritance. Therefore, make sure you check with a lawyer to ensure you legally include everyone you desire to include

3. Forgetting to Name Beneficiaries on Your IRA

If you fail to name a beneficiary on your IRA, the money will go through probate. When your beneficiary withdraws the money all at once, it incurs a high tax. This tax is unnecessary and avoidable if you include your beneficiaries on your IRA.

4. Not Naming Plan B Beneficiaries

For a variety of reasons, your first choice beneficiary may not be in a place to accept your assets. Courts may divide your assets as they see fit if you do not have a second choice. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to have a secondary option in place.

5. Failing to Update

Many people think that once they draft and sign their will, they’re covered for the rest of their life. However, you should update your will after every major life event, as well as lay eyes on it periodically to make sure you haven’t changed your mind about anything. For instance, examples of major events include marriages, divorces, the births of any children, major job changes, and significant financial changes.

6. Missing the Details

Remember, your will does not cover everything. Make sure you include information about separate details, such as your life insurance policy, retirement plans, etc.

7. Assuming Everything is in Order

Although your will has been drafted, it is not wise to assume everything is settled. To ensure that your will is consistent and legally binding, we suggest you look over it with a lawyer. Again, check it periodically to see if you should update it.

8. Not Registering with a Nationally Recognized Will Registry

While there are private Will Registries out there, there is only one that is Nationally Recognized by the American Bar Association, www.theUSwillregistry.org. Attorneys and the public will this free source for registering a will and searching for deceased persons missing will. Registration allows you to keep the whereabouts and content of your will private and secure until needed. Registration details are not released until a death certificate is provided and the person searching for your Last Will is listed on your registration.

Additional Tips for Registering Your Will

Now that we have discussed the things you should not do when writing your will, allow us to mention a few things you should do when registering your will.

  • Communicate with your lawyer and family often.
  • Take care of your end-of-life documents before it feels necessary.
  • Store the location of the will online.

How Can the U.S. Will Registry Help?

The U.S. Will Registry offers a comprehensive solution for Last Will Management, providing various services to simplify the estate planning process. These services include:

  1. Free Online Will Maker: The U.S. Will Registry offers a user-friendly platform for creating personalized Wills online at no cost. This feature allows individuals to easily draft their testamentary documents according to their preferences and needs.
  2. Free Will Registration: Once a Will is created, individuals can register it for free with The U.S. Will Registry. Registering a Will helps ensure its authenticity and accessibility, providing added security and peace of mind.
  3. Free iCloud Storage: The U.S. Will Registry provides free iCloud storage for registered Wills, offering a secure and convenient way to store important estate planning documents online.
  4. Free Death Notices and Obituaries: In the unfortunate event of a person’s passing, The U.S. Will Registry offers free death notices and obituaries services. This feature assists in notifying relevant parties about the existence of the Will and its registration status.
  5. Missing Will Searches: The U.S. Will Registry database allows for efficient searches in cases where a Will cannot be located. This feature helps individuals and families locate missing Wills, ensuring that testamentary wishes are honored.

It is advisable for all estate plans to include Registration as a crucial component.

 

Explore Comprehensive Last Will Management with The U.S. Will Registry

Discover our range of services: Free Will Creation, Free Will Registration, Missing Will Search, Free iCloud Storage and Free Death Notices, and Obituaries.
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