Read This Before Making Your Will in These Crazy Times

We live in unbelievable times.
What can you do to avoid legal battles over your money after you are gone?
I’ll give you some tips now.
It is true you don’t need to use a lawyer to make your will. However, don’t assume any will you make is guaranteed as valid.
You may be surprised to know that wills are often contested. Courts are flooded with challenges. Lawyers are always involved in these cases.
There are laws that apply to transfer wealth on death. What if you don’t know and violate these laws? Your will can be contested and not accepted by courts as legal.

Who Can Contest Wills?

Your will can be contested by persons who:

  1. feel entitled to your estate
  2. believe you didn’t have the capacity to make your will
  3. think you were directed by someone else to create your will
  4. complain they were improperly excluded from your will or estate plan
  5. claim you broke promises to them
  6. want more support for spouses and dependants
  7. need judges to confirm your will was not forged

You may wonder “what’s the point of making a will if it can be contested?”
Like most things in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. That includes the right way to make your last will.
Don’t write down your last wishes and hope they are legal. Thinking that you can write any will is a mistake.
If that is all you have to do, why are courts swamped with estate disputes?
It is not because there are too many lawyers.

Not All Lawyers Are the Same

Every lawyer has different skills and experience. That means you will want to use the right lawyer to prepare your will. You need to find the best will lawyer for you.
You may think that you don’t have much money to worry about. But if you have a home, you need to protect it. Otherwise, your loved ones can struggle to sell it.
Using lawyers experienced in preparing wills has benefits. Will lawyers can help your executor defend your will after you are gone.

What Will Lawyers Do for You

Experienced will lawyers can advise you on how to:

– reduce taxes and save money
– avoid disputes over your estate
– ensure that your will complies with local will signing requirements
– meet your legal obligations towards your spouses and dependents
– arrange for a smooth transition of your wealth to your loved ones
– create an estate plan to lower expenses and delays

What If You Don’t Make A Will

Legally, no one can administer your estate unless courts appoint someone as estate trustee without a will.
What does that mean? No one can:

• collect pension benefits, arrange funerals, sign tax returns or pay creditors

• enter your apartment to collect your mail

• prepare a list of your assets, collect your financial records, or pay your mortgage or condo fees

• be in charge of your money until they are appointed by court

Not having a will can prevent anyone from handling your affairs for months or years after you’re gone.
Think about it.
No one can benefit from your estate until a court appoints someone to handle your estate. No one can pay your bills or taxes. Even arranging funerals can become challenging.
Yes, your remains can lie in a morgue until someone can authorize a cremation. Don’t make the mistake thinking that your spouse or adult children from your first relationship can do this without court orders.
Making a will is your personal obligation. No one else can do this for you. You do this for the people you leave behind; otherwise, they can be totally lost.

What Is Best for You?

I can make the process of preparing your will easy and stress-free.
I meet clients for preliminary will consultations. I can help answer questions to make sure you are on the right track. My office can arrange consultations in-person or by Zoom.

Read my new client estate planning guide and fee schedule.
Bring your estate planning guide for new clients to your initial consultation. I can:

– answer your deepest concerns

– help you choose executors

– set up trusts for any beneficiaries with special needs

– review marriage contracts and separation agreements

– prepare multiple wills to deal with corporate assets to reduce estate administration tax or EAT.

During this preliminary meeting, we can discuss the costs of setting up an effective, simple estate plan with powers of attorney and wills.

It Pays to Plan

Making your will is the way to ensure your loved ones won’t struggle after you’re gone. Making wills are inexpensive when the cost is spread over 5-10 years.
Wills are investments. They also help your loved ones grieve properly instead of paying lawyers to go to court.
If you want more information about having a preliminary consultation, please use this confidential contact form.
If you are looking for more reading material about preparing your will, check out my free e-book. You can find out how to avoid the biggest blunder when you are making a will.

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