Creating a will is never a fun thing to do. No one wants to think about their own mortality and leaving their loved ones behind. But having a will is required to avoid New York’s intestate laws.
Intestate laws are put into place to determine who gets what if someone should pass away without a will.
Essentially, if you are married with no children, your spouse gets everything. Children and no spouse, children get everything. If you have a spouse and children, the spouse inherits the first $50,000 plus half of the balance and the children inherit everything else. There are further breakdowns if none of these scenarios applies to you at the time of your death.
You might be all right with New York intestate laws, but things can get messy for your loved ones, and having a will leaves nothing to interpretation.
What should you not do when writing your will?
OK, you are convinced. Writing a will is now on your list of priorities. Here are some common mistakes that people make when writing their will.
- Will is not signed properly: You need to sign the will along with two witnesses who are not included in the will as a beneficiary. Three total signatures are required.
- Forget the residuary provision: The residuary provision covers any assets that were not listed in the will specifically.
- Property descriptions are unclear: You may have special keepsakes that you want to give to particular family members. Make sure you describe the property as precisely as possible.
- Forget to name alternate beneficiaries and executors: The untimely death of someone named in your will as the executor or as one of the beneficiaries is unfortunate and can complicate things if you do not have alternates listed.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can eliminate any confusion about your assets at the time of your death.
When you are ready to step up and take the responsible action of creating your last will and testament, you should consult with a professional who has experience in handling matters concerning estate planning.