If you make a will you will be well ahead of many people. Yet, if you make it badly will, your advantage won’t be so clear.
Here are some typical mistakes that people make that jeopardize the chance of their assets being distributed in the way they wish:
If you change your will, make it clear that you have done so. Ideally, destroy the earlier version. Otherwise, you could leave people confused and fighting about which document reflects your true wishes.
You also need to ensure that assets you’ve taken care of elsewhere, such as those with beneficiary designations, aren’t mentioned as being for a different person in your will. Again that will just cause confusion and disharmony.
Not taking the time to do it properly
You could scrawl your wishes for your estate on a piece of paper and leave it under a sofa cushion, but be aware that will make things a lot more difficult for those you leave behind.
California does recognize handwritten wills, but a nicely typed-out and formatted one reduces the chance of misunderstandings. Signing it in front of two witnesses helps show it is valid. Storing it in a safe place that someone knows about speeds things up when you are gone.
There is too much at stake to take shortcuts when making your will. Consider finding out more about how to create one that makes your wishes clear. Doing so can spare your loved ones time and stress and leave them free to mourn you with dignity.