Estate planning attorneys help you to take control of your legacy. At Clarity Legal Group®, we want to ensure you have the chance to dictate what happens to the wealth you have worked so hard for during the course of your life. That’s why our legal team helps you to make effective use of legal tools both to protect your assets during your lifetime and to ensure your wishes are respected regarding the transfer of assets after your death.
Everybody needs a Will. No estate plan is complete without one. It is critical that everyone understand that while a last will and testament is an essential part of a plan, it is not the only tool you need. A will works only at the time of your death. You need legal tools in place which address management of your affairs during you life if incapacitated and what happens for beneficiaries of you estate after your death.
When you do create a will, you want to ensure that it is detailed, comprehensive, and enforceable. You also want to take care to be certain you don’t make any mistakes that could result in your wishes in the will not being respected. To do this, you should work with experienced estate planning attorneys to help you to create a will that will hold up in court and be an important part of defining what happens to your wealth after you are gone.
Common Mistakes when Creating a Will
There are many different mistakes that could be made when creating a will. Here are a few common ones that you want to be certain to avoid:
- Not following legal formalities: Wills should be in writing and signed in front of witnesses. If you fail to follow the proper process for creating a will, it is possible or even likely your will won’t be enforced.
- Using vague or unclear language: When you create a will, you want to be sure that your wishes are very clear regarding who will inherit the assets you are leaving behind. You do not want to create a situation where there is confusion over which heirs or beneficiaries you hope will inherit a particular asset. For example, if you have valuable antique books and you specify your son should get all of your antiques and your daughter should get all of your books, you have created a potential source of conflict where it is unclear what your wishes are.
- Not considering how beneficiaries should inherit: There are some circumstances where you would be better off providing an inheritance through other means besides a will. For example, if you have a disabled loved one, you don’t necessarily want to transfer assets directly to him or her in your will because doing so could cause a loss of access to means-tested benefits such as Medicaid. A special needs trust might be a better approach for transferring assets to this particular heir, rather than just leaving wealth to him in a will.
- Transferring assets in a will when other estate planning tools would be best: A Will is only one means off transferring assets at death. Generally, which it comes to the cost and efficiency of transferring assets, a Will is an undesirable method. You should be strategic in selecting what tool will best transfer your assets and account for — and protect against — unforeseen contingencies which might defeat your goals.
- Not taking estate tax into account or the costs of probate: If you have a larger estate and you are leaving wealth to someone other than your spouse, you need to consider whether you will be subject to estate tax after your death. If so, your estate could end up paying a large bill that substantially reduces the inheritance that your loved ones obtain. Furthermore, assets passing under a will in North Carolina (with the exception of North Carolina real estate) are subject to significant court imposed fees as well as the administrative costs and burdens of the court process known as probate. Most people would prefer to avoid probate by using other tools for transferring their assets upon death.
There may also be many other mistakes you could end up making if you don’t get the right help with the creation of your comprehensive estate plan. You don’t want to end up with your family fighting over assets or with any of your wealth being lost because you failed to take the right steps to protect it.
Getting Help from Estate Planning Attorneys
At Clarity Legal Group®, our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team will make the process of creating a will easy. We understand that you don’t like to think about what will happen after you are gone, but it’s important to go through the process of making your estate plan so you can provide for your loved ones. With the assistance our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team offers you, the process of making a will is simple and stress free.
We can advise you on what to include in your will, help you to draft a will that makes your wishes clear, and help you define you goals and create other estate planning tools to accomplish your goals. Perhaps most importantly, we can provide support to those who you leave behind to ensure that things run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, while implementing your wishes. We will be there when you and your family need us.
To find out more about how we can help with a will, give us a call at 919-484-0012 or contact us online today.