• Some Funny Things Seen in the Probate Office

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    In another blog we looked at four major problem areas that need to be considered in preparing a will. Here we just make a short inventory of a few things that folks have done to void their will. You may laugh at some but most are serious errors that many laymen might not be aware of. 

     

     Very well, then consider some very simple errors made in writing a will.  People do these things!

     

    n       Failure to sign and date the will.  That speaks for itself.

     

    n       Failure to have two witnesses sign and maybe have it notarized. So you thought one was enough.

     

    n       Forgetting that your witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of your estate or married/defacto to a beneficiary of your estate. Further, they must also be over 18 years of age.

     

    n       Attaching or stapling papers to the will (or worse removing them). Why? Well, it raises questions of what might have been removed. Those little staple holes could really cause concerns with your heirs who thought you were itemised lists of items for them.  

     

    n       Erasing words / marking over them.  Well, you probably knew that.  You went to high school.

     

    n       Adding amendments incorrectly and confusing or contradicting the main clauses.

     

    n       Forgetting to tell your executor and next-of-kin where it is located. Did you plan for a treasure hunt at your wake?

     

    n       Failing to update your will whenever heirs die or you dispose or add property—even buying a car or a small sailboat.

     

    n       Failing to make changes when your marital status changes and so on. You could be left with a null and void will if you get married and don’t write a new will. Likewise, if you divorce in some states your will becomes void.

     

    Yes, a will is not written in stone but needs a certain amount of oversight. If there is the possibility of you committing any of these errors or oversights then contact a professional.  You do not want your final wishes to be disregarded because you tried to save a few hundred dollars.