If you’re planning your estate, a qualified Tampa professional should be able to guide you through the process. Even so, there are common mistakes that should be avoided when you’re writing a will or otherwise planning your estate. Make sure that your assets are protected in the way you want after your passing by knowing what you should ask your Tampa legal professionals when it comes time to write your will.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that you’re familiar with your state’s rules on what constitutes a legal will. Most states have age restrictions, often requiring that you be at least 18 years of age or older, though there are exceptions in some cases. Similarly, some states forbid handwritten or videotaped wills, and may require that the document that you create be witnessed. In this instance, there may also be rules about who qualify as witnesses, and some states may also require that your will be notarized. Be sure that you brush up on your states specifics, as making a mistake in any of these areas could be grounds to consider your will invalid.
Another commonly made mistake is when it comes to the executor of your will. The executor is the person who’s in charge of settling your estate, including settling any remaining debts and distributing your assets to your beneficiaries. Selecting an executor is a big part of the will, without a doubt, and selecting the wrong person can mean legal hurdles for your heirs, or, in some cases, losing some of your assets to the executor themselves. While your Tampa lawyer might not be able to tell you if the executor you’ve chosen is good or not, this is still an important part of estate planning.
The last common mistake that we’ll discuss here is not including all of your assets in the will. It’s important to include everything that your estate will have to handle. Even leaving out what seems like a minor detail can lead to legal headaches for your beneficiaries, as anything that isn’t expressly planned for becomes subject to state laws. Make sure that you go over your will with a fine-toothed comb to make sure you haven’t missed anything.