Drafting a will document might sound like something people can easily DIY. But without the assistance and guidance of an estate planning attorney, a will can be prone to a lot of issues that can make the probate process more complicated and delay the division of assets.
When drafting a will document, the most important thing is the specificities. The will needs to be very specific about who gets what. Things have to be identifiable as well. The will controls the entire probate process in court, so there needs to be clear instructions about what the intentions are behind the provisions in the will.
The Biggest Problem in Wills
The biggest problem, therefore, is the lack of specificities. People tend to be very vague when writing their will, and this can open up a lot of confusion as to what their intentions were when they wrote it. If a provision is not clear, the courts will have questions like “what did they mean?,” “which particular person are they referring to?,” “the will just says ‘books’, but which books?”
The will has to be very specific about the asset that is going to be given and the person to whom it should go to. For example, if one were to give away their books, simply saying “I give my books to my friends” won’t cut it. There needs to be more information about which books should be given and the name of the friend who gets it. Otherwise, the gift is most likely going to fail.
What happens if the gift fails?
If the gift fails because of the lack of specificities, the assets are not going to be given to the person that the deceased intended to receive it. Instead, they will be distributed according to the rest of the will document.
It’s very important to be specific with gift language when drafting a will. This will help make sure that the deceased’s assets go where they intended it to go. Hiring an estate planning attorney can help with the specificities and ensure that the will document meets all the technical, legal, and procedural guidelines.