Additional 10 Common MISTAKES in Will drafting

  1. Not telling people where your Will is located – they are often never found, or an old Will is thought to be current
  2. Not making provision for the division of the residue of the estate, including gifts that fail. You may believe you have dealt with all your property but if a beneficiary predeceases you, that bequest may lapse and fall into the residue.
  3. Believing that if your child predeceases you, then their share under your Will goes to their (your child’s) surviving children. This is not the case as it goes according to their Will or intestacy, as part of their (your child’s) estate.
  4. Not documenting and communicating reasons for decisions and opening up the estate to attack from possible claims after death; Co-habitants, ex-spouses and children have legal rights to make claims against your Estate if you omit them from your Will. It is better to say in your Will why you omitted them.
  5. Appointing an unsuitable executor and/or providing inadequate powers to your executors or trustees so that they cannot do any post-death tax planning
  6. Appointing only one trustee where there are land bequests to minors.
  7. Assuming trust assets (you might have a life interest) or business assets held by a Company/Partnership (where there are agreements in respect of dying shareholders or partners) will form part of your estate when they don’t
  8. Assuming family, friends or business partners will do as you wish without discussing it with them or alternatively trying to dictate from the grave!
  9. Leaving property jointly subject to survivorship rights when you intended to leave separate shares (tenants in common) or vice versa. If you leave property to adult children jointly it may cause litigation, as a joint tenancy cannot be unilaterally severed without a court order.
  10. The biggest mistake of all – having nothing in place at all!