Easy. Cost-effective. Efficient. That’s what online wills are all about. Designed to help simplify the will-making process, online wills are not only legally binding but also valid. However, it’s always important to get the process right. In particular, avoiding common mistakes will eliminate future contestations. Here are some of the things you should avoid.
Only Focusing On the Will Itself
Don’t just prepare a will. A comprehensive estate plan should incorporate several other documents, including your living wills, as well as, the powers of the attorney. Establishing a revocable living trust can go a long way in keeping your estate out of probate.
Not Including All Assets
Be careful when preparing your will. Make sure that you have captured all your assets. Leaving some assets out of your will could prompt the court to distribute them according to the state’s intestate succession laws. Although these laws specify the beneficiaries of your estate, they don’t usually specify who gets what. So, be sure to include all your assets in the will.
Failing To Plan For The Future
When preparing your will, don’t just focus on your present. It’s also very important to plan for your future. Any assets you obtain in the future shouldn’t be left out of your plan. Plus, they should be subjected to intestate succession laws.
Failing To Address Other Issues
Remember, it isn’t all about asset distribution. There are so many other aspects you should take into consideration. For instance, you may want to consider stating who’ll take care of your kids and who’ll manage your finances in case you become incapacitated. That’s a very important aspect, so don’t overlook it.
Not Abiding By the State Laws
Different states have different estate planning laws. And for these laws to be legally enforceable, you must comply with the relevant statutory requirements. Thus, if your will isn’t enforceable, things might not work as you had planned. Regardless of how much time you spend preparing it online, the will might be rendered invalid. So, make sure that you’re always compliant with the state law.
Estate planning isn’t as easy as you may think. Without the required legal expertise, you might not be able to prepare an accurate will. Working with a qualified estate planning attorney can help you avoid making costly mistakes when preparing online wills. The lawyer will carefully review the document you have prepared and make sure that it isn’t controversial in any way.
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Make sure the validity of your will
There are certain things that make a piece of paper valid and legal. These include;
- A properly written documented form.
- It must contain your signatures.
- There must be 2 witnesses.
- You should be mentally stable to understand the will and the effects it may have.
- You have prepared it voluntarily and without anyone forcing you.
- If you have any previous wills, the new one will revoke them.
When you do it online, they include this statement in the beginning that it will revoke all the previous wills. So if you have something before, you should destroy it after preparing the new one.
Furthermore, online wills are also prepared by professionals. Therefore, you do not have to worry about anything else. However, you do need 2 witnesses to make sure someone knows about it. These two persons should be present while you sign the document.
And if you cannot ask them to come because of the coronavirus lockdown, they can witness through video call. Moreover, because of the pandemic, the presence of all three persons is not mandatory now. So they can witness through a window or corridor too.
How to make a will online
Online tasks are easier and we feel more confident because we are not going to feel shy about asking questions. Moreover, even without a proper attorney, you can make your will and get it in printed form. It is legal and cheaper too. So how will you do so?
1. Find the platform
The first thing that you need to do is to find the right platform like the one we mentioned above. You can look for others too and compare their plus points to finalize the one that is secure and inexpensive.
2. Fill your form
The site will give you a form where you are supposed to fill in your information. You can specify your requirements there. Furthermore, this form will also include the type of will you want. Thus, you will get a copy of the details i.e. draft will, after the form submission.
3. Review the will
Before paying them the amount, look at the will. See if there is something that you want to change. Or if there is some information that is not right. It will decide the next owner of your assets, so have a close look at it.
4. Make your payment
Once you are satisfied with the will and it is okay, make your payment. After paying, you can either get your will in soft form or a hard copy, anything you want. You can print it by yourself or ask them to send it to you by mail.
5. Sign it
Do not forget to sign your will after you receive it. Do it in the presence of 2 witnesses. After all, your signature is what makes that will function.
The need for a solicitor
You do not need a solicitor here. If your document is correct and there are no spelling mistakes and it is signed, that’s all you need. Online wills are as legal and valid as the ones prepared by solicitors.
Whereas online wills are easy to create, they aren’t the best choice for everyone. Of course, they’re designed to serve everyone, but they don’t usually meet the needs of those who’ve complex assets.
Remember, preparing a will is an inherently personal process. And it requires careful consideration of various issues. So, if you decide to prepare your will, be sure to exercise caution. Above are common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Otherwise, they could lead to undesirable and costly consequences. Good luck!