25 Years Of Experience In Elder Law, Guardianship And Estates

When you die, you hope your executor will carry out your wishes as planned. However, sometimes, this does not occur due to errors or estate planning oversights that the deceased made during their lifetime.

Learning about some of them reduces the chance you make the same mistakes:

You forgot to update things

Once you make an estate plan, you need to review it regularly to ensure it still reflects your wishes. That applies not only to your will but to any other estate planning vehicles, such as trusts or assets with beneficiary designations. Updating your will alone may not be enough if you fail to update these other items. For example, if your beneficiary designation on a 401(K) still says your ex-wife, then it is she who will receive that asset, and there will be nothing your new wife could do about it.

You forgot to destroy an old will

If you alter your will by writing a new one, you must destroy the previous copies. Otherwise, you run the risk that someone finds an old copy and believes it reflects your latest wishes and that the updated version is somehow wrong or not a true reflection of your wishes. They might accuse someone of unduly influencing you to make the changes, and that could lead to all sorts of problems for the executor and discord among the beneficiaries.

You did not make it correctly

Finally, a court could overrule a will if they deem it is not legally valid because you forgot to follow the rules when making it. Taking legal help to ensure you do everything correctly is always advisable.