Do you envision sitting at your kitchen table, writing down your will and calling it done? Most individuals assume this is how wills are created, but you risk much if you take such a casual approach to estate planning.
For your final will to accomplish what you want, it must be tailored to your unique circumstances. Taking a cookie-cutter or DIY approach to will-making is one of the top errors people make. You can find other common mistakes to avoid in the sections below.
Insufficient legal knowledge
Did you know that each state has distinctive will laws? For example, under Missouri law, oral or spoken wills are only valid in specific situations. Learn about these and other estate planning laws to ensure your final will documents stand up to probate court scrutiny.
No witness signatures
In most states, including Missouri, a will is invalid if no one witnessed its creation. At least two competent witnesses must see you complete and sign your will. A court may rule the document invalid if it does not contain witness signatures.
Minor child bequests
You can leave money or gifts to minor children (younger than 18) in your will, but they cannot control the property until they are mature adults. These rules exist to protect young people from blowing or mismanaging their inheritance. Through estate planning, you can find safer ways to distribute your assets among the minors in your life.
When you work to create your final will, you want it to be as airtight as possible. Seeking professional guidance and increasing your knowledge of state laws helps you accomplish this and other estate planning goals.