Our Skilled NY Lawyers Explain How to Avoid 5 Common Errors When Writing Your Will 

When you write a will, you do so to ensure that your assets, money, and personal belongings are handled according to your wishes after you die. Because you want to avoid mistakes that could put your will in jeopardy, it’s important to work with an experienced estate planning lawyer who will help you create a document that is not easily contested or can be declared invalid.   Errors to avoid when drafting your will

The skilled and knowledgeable lawyers at Alatsas Law Firm understand how easily you can make errors when writing your will and the unintended consequences that can follow. Here, we discuss five common errors you can make when creating your New York will that might allow for challenges to its validity, tie it up in probate, cause family confusion or disagreements, or have it thrown out of court altogether.

What Is an Estate?

When you die, all of your belongings and assets at the time of your death are legally referred to as your “estate.” This can include bank accounts, pensions, real estate, vehicles, personal property, and anything that belongs to you. When you write a last will and testament, you are creating a legal document for your executor to follow so your assets are distributed to your heirs and beneficiaries the way you want. Many states, including New York, require a handwritten (holographic) will to be signed by two witnesses. So, it’s important to understand the specific criteria required of a will if you want yours to be a binding, legal document in the state of New York.

Common Errors When Writing Your New York Will

  • Using incomplete or outdated information. One common error when writing a will is failing to make regular updates to the content. Life changes such as marriages, divorces, births, and deaths can significantly impact your estate plan. Review and update your will whenever your life changes to make sure it accurately reflects your current circumstances.
  • Using unclear language. Using ambiguous or vague language in your will can lead to confusion and disputes among your beneficiaries, and a court may have difficulty interpreting it. Be specific when outlining your wishes to ensure they are carried out the way that you want.
  • Neglecting to appoint guardians. If you have minor children, failing to appoint guardians in your will can leave their future uncertain in the event of your passing. Make sure you designate trusted individuals who have agreed to care for your children and who will make decisions on their behalf, along with backups if your first choice is unable or unwilling to handle these duties.
  • Forgetting digital assets. In today’s digital age, it’s essential to consider your digital assets when drafting your will. This can include online accounts, cryptocurrencies, and other digital files. Include these in your list of assets, and make sure your will specifies how you want them to be handled after your death.
  • Ignoring tax implications. Failing to consider tax implications can result in unnecessary financial burdens for your beneficiaries, which can add unnecessary stress to people who are grieving. Consult with an estate planning attorney while drafting your will to understand the tax consequences of your estate plan, and explore strategies that may minimize the estate’s tax burden.

Why It’s Important to Avoid These Mistakes When Writing Your Will

Crafting a will that reflects your wishes is essential for several reasons:

  1. It ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, including potentially providing financial security for your loved ones for years to come.
  2. It can help minimize conflicts and disputes among members of your family, including your beneficiaries, reducing the likelihood of costly legal battles.
  3. You may be able to streamline the probate process for your executor and ensure a smoother transition of your estate to your heirs or other designated recipients.

How a Lawyer Can Help You With Your New York Will

Navigating the complexities of estate planning in New York can be challenging, but working with a trusted estate planning attorney can be invaluable. From ensuring your will complies with state laws to offering guidance on asset protection and tax planning, a lawyer can help you create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to your specific needs and desires.

Post A Comment