Estate planning is a necessary task to accomplish. At the very least, your estate plan should include a last will and testament. This document spells out how you want your assets to be distributed once you are gone.
While drafting a will may sound relatively simple, it is vital to not make any errors during the process. If you make mistakes, your will may not be valid. An invalid will can cause a variety of problems for you and your loved ones. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when creating your will.
Failing to follow the rules
Each state has unique guidelines for what makes a will valid. Georgia law requires you to sign the document in the presence of two witnesses. However, if a beneficiary serves as a witness, you must ask at least two other people to be witnesses. These witnesses must sign the document when you are present.
And while you do not necessarily need to get your will notarized, it can help the probate court accept the document. To get your will notarized, you and your witnesses need to visit a notary public – then all of you will sign an attached document to prove the will is yours.
Naming the wrong individual as executor
You can use a will to designate an executor. This person is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will once you pass. Executor duties include paying remaining debts and distributing assets to your heirs. This person should be someone you trust. Do not put this responsibility on someone who is not right for the role. The wrong executor can create a big mess for your beneficiaries.
Not making your will accessible to the right people
Once you complete your will, you should make it accessible to the proper parties, including your executor. You can store your will in a safe deposit box or safe in your home. You may also leave a copy with your attorney or financial advisor.