Making A Will? Avoid These Common Mistakes

If you have assets, it is vital that you have a will in place. A will helps to ensure that your money, stocks, and real estate go to the parties that you want them to go to after you pass away. Without a will in place, your family may fight over the property, or may even end up in court to have a judge decide who gets what. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when it comes to creating their own will. Here are three common mistakes that are made and how you can avoid them:

Failing to Specifically Include or Exclude Individuals

One of the most common mistakes that people make regarding their will is not specifically including or excluding individuals. For example, someone may list that they want their children to sell their home and split the profits. While the individual may view their step-children as their own, if the individuals are not specifically named in the will, the step-children may wind up with nothing. Likewise, if a parent has a falling out with a child and wants them to receive nothing, they need to state that that specific child is excluded from the will. 

Not Addressing Guardianship Issues for Minor Children

Another common mistake that is made in regard to wills is not addressing guardianship issues for minor children. If you have minor children, you need to ensure that guardianship issues are spelled out in the will, as well as how the child's money will be handled. In most cases, it is best to consider a trust, or at the very least put stipulations on when they can receive the money, such as at the age of 18 or 21. 

Not Updating Your Will After Major Changes

The last common mistake people make is not updating their will after major changes in their life. Have you gone through a divorce, had a new child, gotten remarried, or purchased new real estate? If so, it is time to update your will. Updating your will after major life changes ensures that your will addresses these current life changes and may help to keep your estate out of probate. 

If you are looking to create a new will or update an existing one, consider hiring a lawyer that handles estate planning. They can go over your will with you, or help you put one together, ensuring that there are no mistakes that can harm your beneficiaries in the future. Contact your preferred estate planning lawyer today to get started, and visit websites like for more information.