Writing your will can be a complicated task. If you are not careful, you might create future conflict or confusion for your loved ones.
When drafting this important document, avoid these common mistakes.
Choosing the wrong executor
After your death, your executor handles the tasks of paying off your creditors and distributing your assets.
Many people simply assign the role to their most trusted friend or family member, but the choice is not always straightforward. Your executor must be financially literate, well organized and able to stay calm under pressure. It is important to choose the right person. You should also assign an alternate executor to take over if your first choice is unable, unwilling or no longer qualified to do the job.
Outlining your funeral plans
Letting your loved ones know your funeral wishes is important. Many people leave these instructions in their wills, but families do not always read the will until after the funeral.
Instead, create a separate document. Let your loved ones know this document exists, and give at least one copy to a friend or relative for safekeeping.
Including unenforceable clauses
People often add stipulations to their wills in an attempt to control their heirs’ behavior or prevent conflict. Be careful with these, however, as some conditions are difficult or illegal to enforce. For example, a court will not enforce a no-contest clause, a stipulation that prohibits a beneficiary from inheriting if he or she contests the will. While these clauses are enforceable in some places under certain conditions, Florida is one of two states that does not recognize them in any circumstances.
As you write your will, be careful to comply with state laws and avoid common mishaps.