A poorly drafted will leaves confusion, hurt feelings, and a court to decide your intent. Write your will correctly and your wishes are sure to be carried out.
When thinking about your loved ones and what will become of your estate after your death, the first step is to write your will. The idea is that your will clearly states your last wishes for your assets to be dispersed. Many wills lack pertinent details and make it unclear who should receive particular assets. This causes confusion, frustration, and additional court expenses for loved ones after your death. Write it correctly, update it, and make it easy to locate and your wishes will be followed.
Legal documents should use clear and concise wording. Vague language allows for multiple interpretations, causing the probate court to intervene and determine the meaning. Language like “families” is vague and individuals should be clearly listed especially if assets are to be equally distributed. On-line templates lack the ability to understand your life situation and you can accidentally forget children from a previous marriage when quickly drafting a do-it-yourself will. A lawyer can help you understand the legal consequences and ensure that your wishes are clearly stated so that a court of law would understand them without misinterpretation.
Major life events should prompt you to update your will. Whenever there is a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, death of a beneficiary, significant income changes, or changes in estate tax laws you should meet with your lawyer and update your will. You will also want to update related documents that would dispose of your assets, such as beneficiaries listed on retirement or life insurance plans. It is also good practice to destroy old copies of your will and to confide in family members so that any major changes will not come as a surprise or cause them to question the validity of your will at your death.
Secure, Not Secret
If your will cannot be located, it cannot be executed. Your will should be kept in a secure place and your family should know where you keep it. They will need access to the original. If the family cannot locate the will there will be additional challenges proving that the original was not destroyed, locating a copy, and executing the will.
Since your will is one of the most important documents you will create you should take time and have good legal counsel to ensure that your assets will be shared with those you want to hold them.
Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC
Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their estate planning issues. With over five decades of serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC have the knowledge and resources to resolve your issues.
No two families are alike and our attorneys are qualified to handle every type of estate planning situation, no matter how confusing or complex it may seem. We stay up to date on state and federal laws concerning estate planning and the latest laws regarding Medicare changes, Medicaid changes or nursing home issues. Our attorneys will provide you with the guidance you need and the service you expect so that you and your family get the result you want and the protection that you deserve.
Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth, PLC
28345 Beck Road, Suite 401
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 869-0030
Fax: (248) 869-0039