Writing a Last Will and Testament That is Legally Binding

Mistakes to Avoid

When writing a last will and testament without the assistance of an estate planner or an estate attorney, it can be easy to miss critical elements. It is, after all, easy to make mistakes when you’re not familiar with the process.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in estate planning is to not hire an attorney. An attorney experienced in estate planning will be familiar with the various rules you need to follow and the items that must be included in a will to make it legally binding. Also, an estate planner or attorney will have the knowledge to advise which option is best suited to your needs. For example, your situation may be better suited to a trust, or perhaps there are things you could do to lessen the tax burden for your beneficiaries.

Thinking you can write a will yourself is another mistake people often make. Although it is possible to do, it is not advised, as there are things you could leave out that an attorney would know are required. If you are set on writing the will yourself, at the very least, have an attorney look it over to ensure that it is legally binding and won’t cause any undue complications for your beneficiaries.

It is also possible that you will overlook important assets when writing the will yourself. Again, this is a good reason to have an attorney or estate planner look over your will after you have written it.

Witnesses Needed

To transform a will from a piece of writing to a legally binding document, it must have witness signatures. Should you happen to forget to have your will signed by witnesses, it could cause problems in probate court. This is the sort of thing that an attorney will quickly recognize and is yet another reason to employ a lawyer when writing your last will and testament.

When it comes time to get your affairs in order, contact us to schedule a consultation.