Northwood Banks & Co Limited

A couple trying to avoid the biggest mistakes when writing a will

What Are The Biggest Mistakes When Writing a Will?

Quite often a mistake in a Will is not identified until someone passes away and, at that point, it is not possible to change what has been put in place.


Quite often a mistake in a Will is not identified until someone passes away and, at that point, it is not possible to change what has been put in place.

As a result, we have brought together a list of some of the most common mistakes that people make when writing their Will. However, what we have to make clear is that there is no substitute for professional advice, as this will ensure that you avoid the errors and that your Will will stand the test of time.

So, what are the most common mistakes?


Leaving Things Unclear - If you are too vague when it comes to explaining who is going to benefit from your estate or what you are gifting then it could mean that the individual will not receive what you wanted them too. This might include ensuring that relationships are clearly detailed, especially where common names appear.


Choosing the Wrong Executors - You have to make sure you have the right people to act as executors for your Will. This could be one person, or it could be several but you have to make sure that they understand the responsibility of the role. They will need to work through a challenging time and overcome emotions to ensure that they get everything right.


Making Changes - A Will is a legal document and it is not possible to cross things out or write over certain areas of it if you feel as though you want to make a change. What you need to do is consider a codicil as this will enable you to make the required changes. However, if the changes are rather significant then it could be worth writing a new Will.


Failing to Store Your Will Securely - It is common for people to spend money on ensuring that their estate planning is right only to them store their Will in the wrong location. A Will is a significant document that explains your final wishes and you don’t want them to get lost or even destroyed. Therefore, you should look to have them professionally stored as this will ensure they are not only safe but easily accessible to the right people too.


Incorrect Signing - The Will has to be signed correctly in orderfor it to be valid. Known as attestation, there is strict legislation that determines the process. As a result, you should consider using a professional service to ensure that all the correct signatures and processes are followed.


Marriage Revokes a Will - Many people fail to understand that getting married will result in a Will being revoked. Therefore, if you are getting married then you should make sure that your Wills are written in contemplation of marriage, or you could opt to write a new Will after you get married.


Assuming Unmarried Partners Will Inherit if you Don’t Have a Will - This is one of the biggest misconceptions of the intestacy rules as an unmarried partner will not automatically inherit your estate. If you die without a Will, you will die intestate which means that a new set of rules will have to be followed in order to determine what will happen with your estate.