Will solicitors and probate lawyers often come across mistakes in Wills when they review an existing Will or when helping you prepare an updated Will.
The Will and estate planning team at Solomons Solicitors have highlighted five relatively common mistakes found in Wills. If you need your existing Will reviewed our specialist Will solicitors can help.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.
Making a mistake in a Will
If you make a mistake in your Will, it may make the Will invalid or the error may mean that your estate does not pass to those you intended to benefit. If you made a DIY Will or if your circumstances have changed it is worth getting your Will reviewed.
Five common mistakes made in Wills
Five common mistakes made in Wills include:
- Thinking a DIY Will is OK – whilst your DIY Will may be valid your terminology may have unintended consequences, such as your stepchild not receiving a share of your estate because you referred in your Will to your ‘children’ and therefore mistakenly left out a stepchild. A homemade Will may also not be tax efficient meaning your estate may end up paying more in inheritance tax.
- Not considering your choice of executors – although your spouse, siblings, or your adult children can be appointed as the executors in your Will it may not be a good idea if a sibling is older than you and in poor health or if your adult children do not get on with one another.
- Not covering the ‘what ifs’ in the Will – you may have left your estate to your spouse but what happens if they pass away before you? If you have not covered this in your Will your estate will pass under the intestacy rules rather than in accordance with your wishes. It is therefore important to include a ‘what if’ or fallback clause in your Will.
- Getting married or remarried without making a new Will – marriage or entering into a civil partnership revokes your existing Will unless the Will says it is made in contemplation of your marriage.
- Not changing a Will if you divorce – if you get divorced the Will takes effect as if your former husband or wife had predeceased you. This may mean that you have no executor if you appointed your former spouse as your executor or it may mean your estate passes under intestacy rules if you left a share in your estate to your husband or wife and did not include a fallback clause if they could not inherit.
Planning your Will
If you are planning to make your first Will or you want to review an existing Will because of a change in your personal or financial circumstances it is best to speak to a specialist Will solicitor to make sure that you end up with a Will and estate planning that reflects your wishes and your family situation. If there is a mistake in a Will and it is not spotted until after you have passed away it could lead to a great deal of family upset or even a potential estate claim by a disappointed family member.
Speak to our Bournemouth-based Will Solicitors today
Solomons Solicitors can help you with all your Will, LPA, and estate planning needs making sure you understand your options and you have the legal paperwork you need to provide peace of mind.