When it comes to planning for the future, it’s common for people to procrastinate finalizing significant decisions. Trying to predict and plan for future events can be a daunting task; however, when writing a will, it is vital to take immediate steps to protect your estate and recipients. Cantanese and Wells Law Office, a firm specializing in estate litigation in Los Angeles, was first formed in 1989 by founder T. Randolph Cantanese. During its 31 years of practice, Cantanese and Wells have striven to provide personalized service while emphasizing positive client outcomes. Between the law offices’ two most senior attorneys lies over 60 years of experience in claims against trustees, real estate disputes, and preparation of wills. In the following article, Cantanese and Wells will present the most common mistakes made when writing a will.
While it can be a difficult and unpleasant thing to consider, assuming your heirs or recipients will calmly and fairly divide your estate is a dangerous assumption to make. Oftentimes, people believe definitively writing ‘who gets what’ in their will only breed contention and jealousy. As a result, the writer will leave out significant assets from their will to be later decided between the recipients. Instead, it is recommended that when writing your will, the writer clearly states who should receive an asset to prevent future fights.
Not Planning for Life
A common mistake people make in writing their will is only planning for death. While death is a certainty, people should still prepare for a number of different circumstances. For example, depending on the writer and their health history, it may be advisable to include in the will a clause detailing what should happen to assets in the event of a variety of illnesses.
Once a will is completed, it is often filed away and not touched for many years. This can be a mistake in the event that the writer remarries or wishes to change a beneficiary or executor. Instead, it is recommended to revisit your will once every five years to make necessary changes and updates.
Unfortunately, many animals of recently deceased individuals are often sent to a shelter or rescue. It is crucial to consider the future welfare of one’s pets and discuss with family or friends a potential adoption in the event of illness or death. Another consideration is a ‘pet-trust,’ a legal trust that administers payments to cover your animal’s future expenses.