Estate Planning: Three Crucial Precautions for Drafting Your Will

Law Blog

Drafting a will can be a depressing process, but it is necessary if you want to protect your vulnerable loved ones. In general, if an individual dies before preparing a will, the estate might not be handled as expected. Typically, in this type of situation, the court will appoint an administrator. The chosen person will clear debts and bills before distributing the remaining property according to a formula set by the specific state government. You should protect your loved ones by deciding on the distribution of your property as early as possible. Here are simple tips to help you achieve the best results.

Draft a Legal Will

It is not uncommon for people to assume that writing down their wishes in relation to their estate is enough. Unfortunately, a note or a simple homemade will is not enforceable in a legal setting. Therefore, your property will not be distributed according to the outlined wishes. If you would like to ensure that your intentions are ordered, you must draft a valid will. In simple terms, you should prepare a legal document and have it witnessed properly. It is also important to consult a lawyer to avoid any oversights.

Name a Contingent Beneficiary

It is advisable to have a contingent beneficiary for your property named in the will. A contingent beneficiary is the individual who will receive your property in case your primary heir is not able to receive the items. For instance, if your main heir dies or is unable to receive their inheritance due to any reason, the property will go to the secondary party. It is also not a bad idea to name a successor executor. If your first executor is unable to carry out their duty, the successor will take their place. Consequently, your beneficiaries will not be affected by a long delay.

Update the Will

If your personal or family situation changes, you should plan on updating your will. This practice is critical when a major event occurs in your life. For instance, if you have a child or change your marital status, you should ensure that the will is changed accordingly. When you update your will, you will ensure that new family members are covered in the will. You will also have an opportunity to account for your new assets. When changing a will, you can add a codicil to the old will. However, it is advisable to draft a new will revoking the previous wills if you are planning on making a lot of changes. 


22 January 2019

Sorting out my dad's estate

My dad died when I was still pretty young so it's been a big surprise all the stuff I've had to do to sort out his estate. I'm an only child and my folks divorced when I was a baby so most of the work fell to me. He was kind of disorganised and grumpy, but at least he'd spoken to his lawyer and got a proper will drawn up which saved on confusion at a tricky time. If you are a young person dealing with the estate of a deceased parent, this blog is designed to help you navigate the legal processes.