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Mistakes to avoid while creating your will

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2022 | Firm News |

One of the best things about being an adult is being able to make our own decisions. A will allows you to make decisions involving your assets that will impact your loved ones after you are gone.

However, creating a will requires more than just writing down on a piece of paper that your son will get your car after you die. Texas courts require will creators, or testators, to follow certain rules to validate their will.

As a testator, there are certain mistakes you should avoid while creating your will. These mistakes may result in the invalidation of your will or make it much more difficult for your beneficiaries to claim the assets you left to them.

Some of the most common mistakes people make while writing a will include:

  • Failing to follow state regulations: In Texas, you must be at least 18 years old, of sound mind and memory, and not under duress to create a will. Your will must be in writing and signed by you in front of two credible witnesses, who will also sign. Failure to follow these and other regulations could result in an invalid will.
  • Failing to update will: Experts advise updating your will every three to five years or whenever a major event happens in your life. Failure to update your will may mean that you inadvertently exclude a child or grandchild or end up leaving everything to your ex-wife instead of your current one.
  • Failing to address plans for life: In addition to specifying what happens when you die, you should also assign someone to serve as your health care power of attorney and financial power of attorney to handle your affairs when you are still alive, but unable to care for yourself or make your own decisions. These agents will make medical decisions on your behalf and handle financial transactions.
  • Failing to assign a guardian for children and a caregiver for pets: Make sure to name a guardian for your minor children as well as someone to adopt your pet.
  • Overlooking digital assets: Make sure to include login information for social media accounts, email accounts, banking, and other online assets.

The estate planning process can be complicated and hard to handle without assistance. The best way to avoid mistakes when creating your will is often consulting with an estate planning attorney.