For most people, a Last Will and Testament is the first estate planning document they create, and may continue to serve as the foundation of that plan for many years to come, if not forever. If you are planning to execute a Will for the first time, it is in your best interest to work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that you do not make costly mistakes during the creation of your Will. To further aid in avoiding mistakes, the Hauppauge estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia explain some of the most common mistakes people make when making a Will.
- The most common reasons provided for the lack of a Will are the belief that one isn’t needed because the individual’s assets are not sufficient and/or because the individual is single and without children. The bottom line is that it is never too early to execute a Will because every adult can benefit from a Will.
- Going the Do-It-Yourself route. Going the DIY route for home repairs might (or might not) save you time and money; however, doing so with your estate plan is far more likely to cost your loved ones a considerable amount of both time and money when it comes time to probate your estate.
- Failing to be specific enough. It may seem like a tedious job, but when it comes to making gifts in your Will, be as specific as possible.
- Naming the wrong person as your Executor. All too often, a Testator simply fills in the name of a spouse, adult child, best friend, or family member as the Executor of his/her estate without giving any real thought as to whether that person is the best choice or not, leading to delays or costly mistakes when it comes to probating the estate.
- Failing to distribute your entire estate. One of the most common mistakes people make when they go the DIY route is failing to distribute their entire estate in their Will. This, in turn, results in the need to open up an intestate estate probate which can significantly prolong the probate process.
- Gifting to minor children. Understandably, as a parent you want to provide for your minor children; however, by law, a minor cannot inherit anything from your estate. Therefore, leaving assets to your minor child in your Will serves only to complicate the probate of your estate because a court may then be forced to decide who will guard those assets until your child reaches the age of majority.
- Disinheriting without stating your intent. You are free to distribute your estate in any way you wish, meaning you can disinherit anyone you wish. It is best, however, to acknowledge the individual and be clear that you intend to disinherit him/her.
- Depending too heavily on your Will. A Will can accomplish many things, including the distribution of your entire estate after you are gone; however, your Will does not help in the event of your incapacity. Your Will also does not help provide guidance on issues related to end of life medical decisions.
- Failing to update. Executing a Last Will and Testament is an excellent first step toward creating a comprehensive estate plan that protects you and your loved ones. For that Will to continue to work as intended, however, it must be updated on a regular basis as well as when life events call for an immediate revision.
Contact Hauppauge Estate Planning Lawyers
Please feel free to download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the creation of a Last Will and Testament, contact the Hauppauge estate planning lawyers at the Law Offices of Kobrick & Moccia by calling 800-295-1917 to schedule your appointment.