Drafting A Will and Common Mistakes People Make and How to Avoid Them

Posted:  Jun 29, 2022

How do you leave a legacy for your loved ones? Do they need to know how much you love them? How much money do they need to have? Do they need to have some say in the will and estate planning process? Like most people, you probably don't think about these things too often. You may not even consider those questions until it is too late.


However, making a will is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. It ensures that your wishes are carried out after you die, and it can help to avoid any potential problems down the road. It outlines who gets what, when, and whether or not there should be a probate process if the decedent does not leave behind any kin.


However, many people make common mistakes when drafting a will, which can cause problems down the road. Below are five of the most common errors people make and how to avoid them.


Not Fully Understanding What Assets Can Be Distributed 

Assets that can be distributed include personal property like vehicles, bank accounts, jewellery, stocks, and shares. However, if you are planning to distribute property, you must be the sole owner of the property. Properties under joint tenancy ownership will go to the surviving owner automatically.

Distributing assets not considered part of your estates, such as your CPF and insurance policy proceeds, is also a common mistake.


Not Writing a New Will After Marriage or Divorce

If you are married, any will need you have written before marriage is automatically void. This is because the law presumes that upon marriage, there is an intention to create a joint property regime between spouses unless stated otherwise. As such, it is important to write a new will after marriage to avoid any disputes arising from your assets' distribution.

On the other hand, a divorce does not automatically void a will. This means your ex-spouse may still be a beneficiary unless you take the initiative to update and change your will accordingly upon separation.


Not Including a Residuary Clause

A residuary clause is a provision in a will that gives the testator's remaining assets to one or more persons, organizations, or entities. This clause is important as it ensures that all your assets are accounted for and distributed according to your wishes. Without such a clause, there is a risk that some of your assets may be left out and not distributed at all.


Intestacy laws may vary depending on whether the property is movable or immovable. The general rule is that a movable property will be subject to intestacy laws of the country you were residing in when you passed away. In contrast, immovable property will be subject to the intestacy laws of the country it is located in.


Not Informing Your Executor

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when drafting their will. It is important to remember that your executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes after you pass away. As such, you must choose someone you trust and who you know will be able to handle the task. Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that your executor is aware of their responsibilities and agrees with them.


Not Having Two Adult Witnesses 

This is a critical step in the process as it ensures that your will is legal and valid. Without witnesses, your will may be invalidated, and your wishes may not be carried out. Your witnesses must also sign in acknowledgment in front of you. Witnesses must be above the age of 21 and must not be beneficiaries or the spouses of the beneficiaries. If they are, your will may be rendered invalid.


Avoid Critical Mistakes by Seeking Legal Advice From a Trusted B.C Law Firm

Not having a will can be just as problematic as having an outdated or poorly-constructed one. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to your state's laws of intestate succession. This means that your loved ones may not receive what you wanted them to, and the process can be long and expensive.


If you are unsure about any aspect of drafting your will, it is best to seek legal advice. A lawyer can help you understand the process and ensure that your will is legally binding. Stevens & Company Law Corporation, we have over 20 years of experience in wills and estate planning. We can help you draft a will that meets your unique needs and protects your interests.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We can help you avoid the common mistakes people make when drafting their wills and ensure that your wishes are carried out according to your desires. Call us at 250-248-8220.









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