Many people fall under the wrong impression about how complicated wills are to make. In theory, all you have to do is list out who your assets will go to after you die, but this is far from true. In practice, there are a lot of key details people fail to include.
If you’re planning to make your own will, you may need to watch out for these common mistakes:
Writing your own will
The first assumption many people have is that they can write their own will. While it’s entirely legal to make your own will and there are programs that can assist you, you may end up making a will that’s not valid. A will requires a ton of legal clarification that may not be easily done in a matter of minutes.
Many companies provide people with easy online wills. These online programs often promise buyers that they’ll have a fully working will made in a matter of minutes and at an affordable price. Yet, these programs are often only as good as you pay for them.
Online wills are often full of inconsistencies, missing wordage and obvious spelling mistakes. Even one minor issue with an online will could spell disaster for your family. If your online will isn’t correct, the state may be left to decide who inherits from your estate.
Not including a POA and executor
Besides asset distribution and heirs, your will should also contain a few key roles. Most wills include a power of attorney (POA) and an executor of an estate.
A POA handles any financial or medical decision if you are incapacitated. On the other hand, an executor protects and maintains your assets during the probate process.
A valid will in Pennsylvania requires two witnesses who are 18 years of age or older. These witnesses will be able to step forward and conclude the validity of a will if a family member wishes to contest it. However, many do-it-yourself wills fail to include witnesses.
If you’re planning on making a will, you may need to reach out for legal help to ensure you’re taking the right steps.