One of the best things you can do for yourself, your family, and their future, is put time into planning wills. Even though you may not think you have enough assets to require a will, the threshold can be a lot lower than you might think.
Wills allow you to have some control over who gets your assets when you die, including your estate, pets, and children. Whether you’re in the process of creating a will from scratch or upgrading the one you already have, make sure you take some time to plan and research. By doing so, you may be able to avoid some of the following mistakes.
Failing to Create a Will At All
Estate planning and will creation can take some time. So much time, in fact, that you may put it off until it becomes too late. Once you have a will in place, it can require minimal upkeep.
Therefore, it can be worth setting time aside to think about your estate and who you would like it to go to. Everything from life insurance policies and superannuation to personal belongings and cars should be factored into a will.
If you don’t make your intentions known in a legal document, you may never be able to ensure that the people you wanted your assets to go to will receive them. Your death may even result in court cases to split assets between family members with legal intervention.
Not Appointing the Right Will Executors
The executors of your will have an incredibly important job to do. They must pay your liabilities, finalise your affairs, and act in the best interests of all beneficiaries. Who you choose as your executor can determine whether those things are done to the standard you’d expect.
Many people select more than one executor for the sake of fairness and decision-making. If those two executors don’t get along, they may be unable to make fast and straightforward decisions that can be necessary for finalising your affairs.
Being Unclear With Gifts
Many people like to leave gifts for family members and even friends when they pass. These might include property, jewellery, vehicles, cash, or other personal possessions.
While there is nothing wrong with giving gifts, it’s essential to make sure your will is flexible with any life changes. Otherwise, some gifts may no longer be given upon your death. For example, you might leave your 1960 Ford Fairlane to your eldest son, but you might have sold that car before you died.
In some situations, people leave cash gifts to their grandson but have not updated their will to include several grandsons and granddaughters that followed. Wills do need to be updated as information changes to ensure everyone gets what you intended them to have.
Not Including Liabilities
It’s only natural to include information in your will as if it will happen a long way off. For example, you might leave your home to your daughter, believing that it will be mortgage-free by the time you die.
That’s not always the case, which means it’s important to leave instructions for any liabilities attached to assets you will be gifting.
Even though most of us won’t spare much thought for what happens to us when we go, it can provide much-needed peace of mind to know that our loved ones will be taken care of. A will or estate plan can ensure that your nearest and dearest understand your wishes and intentions.