Whether you consider writing wills online a right or wrong move, there are crucial mistakes that invalidate a will. Moreover, with many things going on in our society today, we must be clear about the terms of the agreement when creating wills. Irrespective of status, wealth and job, making a will before death is too crucial to be ignored. Also, the mortality rate in some countries is dropping drastically, and we must prepare for these unavoidable issues that cause death.
It is no crime to die, everyone would pass, but it could be a massive crime if you don’t create a will. If you fail to make a transparent black-and-white and valid will before you pass, you may likely put your family in a difficult position. Even if you don’t consider writing online will as a possible thing or writing it at all, your concern about taking care of your family should be enough motivation. Moreover, it will help to guide your wishes with your values.
Writing wills online is a very straightforward process for anyone ready to do it. You can also start with different options, including free online kits and templates. But no matter which options you choose, there are costly mistakes you cannot afford to make when creating wills online.
5 Costly mistakes to avoid when making wills online
- Not giving responsibility to anyone
As much as you want to keep your will confidential, it is not right to not give anyone responsibility. The goal is that someone should be able to stand in your absence and do the rightful. That will at least require one person to serve as the executor of your will when the right time comes.
The executor of the created will is also responsible for distributing your assets exactly as you want them. So, you cannot wholly leave everyone in your life out when making your will. Otherwise, it defeats the essence of making it in the first place. An executor must be a very responsible person that has earned your trust.
You can inform them of your intention to name them your executor and get their permission. You don’t want such an important role to be a surprise. In some rare cases, you may consider having a second executor if something happens to the primary executor. Moreover, they may not be willing to execute when needed.
- Not caring for your kids
Ideally, one of the core duties that goodwill is meant to serve is to take care of your loved ones, including your spouse and your children. If anyone leaves the role of taking care of the children out of a will, it becomes an issue. You wonder how this mistake can happen, but it does when a testator or author does not name any particular guardian to take care of the kids.
As a result, caring for the kids becomes a bone of contention right after the person’s demise. Also, you will figure that this scenario can happen when the other spouse is no longer, and it complicates the issues of the children’s lives. In a case of death, the children probably suffer the most hurt, and the custody of their lives may be the beginning of their battle. No doubt, it may be pretty challenging to communicate these wishes to your family directly.
But we consider it also a necessary part of preparing for your family’s care now than later or leaving it to another person to decide. What about giving out your assets to your children directly? That also works. But if they are minors, achieving that takes a different route. There are some options you can put in place to do that. The commonest one is to create a trust account or a uniform account and defer access to when the child is of age before they can access it. Moreover, there is an act that cares for transfer to minors and how to go about it.
- Not understanding your state laws
State laws play a vital role in the creation, approval and execution of wills written online or traditionally. Fundamentally, the will must be according to the specific dictates of state laws which may differ from one state/province to another in Australia. The state that executes your will should also be the state of your legal residence, even if your home state is different. That is the basic fundamental principle of state laws in writing wills.
- Creating incomplete wills without signatures and witnesses.
Wills created online require that the testator completes it by appending his signature and that of two witnesses. Both witnesses must be 18 years or older. According to state laws, that will is incomplete and invalid without signing a will with two witnesses. In such a case, there is no assurance that it is yours and that the state should execute it. Also, note that the author must be in a sound mind and body state.
There must also not be any indication of a threat, pressure or coercion from anyone when making the will. These are general laws of will creation, whether online or otherwise. Any dispute over these conditions causes a dispute over the will, and the result may be that the will is not executed. Therefore, avoid the mistake of not finally signing your will and including two valid witnesses.
- Inaccessible will
What is the essence of creating wills online or otherwise if it will not be accessible at your demise? The goal does not end when you start a will. It also includes storing it and making it accessible after passing. When the time comes, at least, your executor should be able to access the will and execute it according to the terms you state. Are there some standard options when it comes to achieving this end goal?
First, you may store your will in a secure location, like a safe in your home or a safe deposit box outside. Meanwhile, give your attorney, accountant, or financial advisor a copy of the will if you have any. On the other hand, some courts can store your will for you as a public record, depending on if your local jurisdiction permits it.
Everyone needs to think about creating wills online because it is a smooth and quick process. But when making choices, you must avoid the five common mistakes we stated above. When you do, your loved ones will be in safe hands when you depart.
Creating wills using an online platform may require some preparation to understand what you intend to do. Some essential questions are how you want your will to look and how you intend to distribute it. It would help to choose the right professional firm with the proper license to give you what you want. Afterwards, you can begin to create the will using a trusted online firm.
We want to begin with a few recommendations, but first, what write a will online? Creating will online is a sure way to ensure that your possessions are rightly distributed according to your wish. Moreover, the online platform provides that no copy of the will is missing, misplaced or accessed by unauthorized persons. A recent 2019 survey shows that 70% of the sampled adults feel that creating online wills is essential. However, only 40% of them have one.
Before you begin the process, understand that creating wills, online or otherwise, can be emotional. When you prepare for the emotional feeling or what happens after your death, you should be encouraged that you are doing to remove any doubt or clear the air on your properties. Also, many companies offer to help create wills online at different rates. But it would help if you had competent hands to guide you.
Professionals agree that wills created online using the software can be as valid as traditional wills as long as they are thoroughly and rightly executed. Before choosing any real estate attorney to help you achieve your wills online, you should check your finances, acquisitions, and plans. Then, you can begin the process and execute them to ensure safety. At Chamberlains, you get inexpensive wills online through a simple process.
Steps to creating wills online
- List out all your assets
An excellent way to ensure that you don’t overlook any of your properties while writing your will is first to list the assets. You may want to start with your financial assets, such as savings, investments, and monies as checks. Remember to record your stocks and bonds as well with their details. After listing the financial assets, look at real estate properties, including houses, lands, cars, boats, or yachts.
The next in line are the acquisitions such as jewellery, artwork, photo frames and other expensive in-house items. While creating your online will, you can begin to enlist anyone who will be these items’ potential heir. In addition, you may consider some family heirlooms, collections or furniture that have probably been passed down from one generation to another.
You may also want to state any business ownership or partnership and active insurance policies, including a life insurance policy. If you have outstanding loans or mortgages, you should include them as part of your will. Your assets may first be used to service your debts before other execution can take place. When listing your help, you may already have beneficiaries to some assets such as financial accounts or life insurance. These beneficiaries may assume their initial roles as stated in specific asset details.
- Choose your beneficiaries
Your creation will be online. Do not remove the fact that you should know who your beneficiaries are. After all, the primary purpose of creating such wills online is to state who gets what in the end. The beneficiary under the law is the person you deem deserving of any of your assets. For instance, it could be a spouse, child, sibling and even parents. On the other hand, it could be a selected orphanage, church, association, non-profit or charity organization.
You are free to choose anyone to be a beneficiary of the contents of your will. However, you cannot make any of your two witnesses a beneficiary of your will since they are to sign the execution of the will. A simple form of wills written online is a testator who decides to leave every asset to a single individual, who may be a spouse or child. Moreover, you may go them all to your loved ones or association.
If your potential heir or beneficiary is a minor, you can create a trust instead and appoint a trustee to manage the asset till the beneficiary comes of age. It would help if you also aged the minor beneficiary must attain to assume the inheritance’s ownership. Using a trust for a minor beneficiary is an excellent way to establish the safety and security of an asset.
- Choose a will executor
Writing wills online or the traditional way counts for nothing without a will executor. The executor of a will is that individual or organization that oversees the distribution of your assets the way you outline them. They must first agree to take the inventory of your properties, including your bills, taxes, and debts, to fulfil the requirements of the income taxes.
If you have a trusted or dependable friend, you can make them the executor of your written online will. On the other hand, you can choose a professional banker or a personal attorney. If any professional serves as an executor, the testator may need to pay some charges to oversee the properties, especially in real estate. In some cases, the reward may be a percentage of the real estate company.
- Choose an online platform.
You should visit the online platforms when you have set the above steps. There are several sites out there that allow you to create wills online with ease. As a result, finding and picking the right one to serve your needs may require some work. You will need to verify the company’s identity and the provided information’s accuracy and other essentials before committing your will to them. Moreover, the conditions of a will can change from city to city.
In Australia, for example, the client must be sure that the company to pick understands what is acceptable for creating wills in your region/state. Meanwhile, there is no reason for the testator to rush the decision to choose a company. It will help if you choose a firm with a strong reputation, a user-friendly site, an easy-to-navigate process to create the will and other features. If you are not immediately ready to proceed, you should be able to step away and return to where you left off.
- Secure your will in a safe place
After completing your will online and there is nothing left to change, you can print it out for signing. In many regions in Australia, you will need to sign it in the presence of 2 witnesses and an attorney to validate the legal document. Afterwards, remember to secure the electronic file, an advantage that wills created online have. Digital storage is also essential to ensure that you can reach family members miles away to secure and protect the document.
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