It can be the little things that lead to difficulties in proving your Will and bring your family into conflict after you are gone to your eternal reward. These include:
- Not keeping your Will up to date. You should update your Will as circumstances change. For example, marriage revokes a Will.
- Not making adequate provision for dependants. Farmers often leave their wives only a life interest in the farm, but a spouse is entitled to 1/3 of the estate outright as her ‘legal right share’.
- Being ambiguous so that nobody knows exactly what property you intended.
- Not taking tax into account when making provision for beneficiaries and not using up the tax -free thresholds or availing of reliefs such as Dwelling House or Agricultural relief.
- Writing an informal Will as it can cause enormous expense through litigation
- Not nominating guardians for minor children, or knowing the difference between the roles of Executors, Trustees, and Guardians.
- Bequeathing assets not ‘owned’ by you – assets are often jointly owned, or owned by a trust or company and don’t pass through a deceased’s estate
- Assuming joint bank accounts will bypass your estate and go direct to your co-holder of the account where their names were added onto your Accounts.
- Not taking into account the ownership of your life insurance (self, spouse) or credit union nominations that will also pass outside the Will.
- Using beneficiaries or their spouses as witnesses. A beneficiary cannot then take under a Will s/he or spouse witnessed.
BUT THIS IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE!