Brits keep making the same mistakes when they write their Wills, that’s according to an expert in Staffordshire who covered the area in an article in the Staffordshire Live this week.

Martin Oliver, the head of contentious probate at law firm Wright Hassall, shared with website the most common mistakes British people keep making when they are preparing Wills. In the past year, tens of thousands of people in the UK have taken to the internet to research how to write a will.

The pandemic has triggered more interest in Wills as perhaps more people have faced their own mortality, and realised how important it is to have this legal document that will ensure your wishes about your property and your assets are carried out after you die in place. Wills can also include information on who the deceased wishes to take control of their estate after they have passed.

Failing to execute the Will properly

The mistakes made include the common one of failing to execute the document properly, i.e. when the person making the will must sign it in front of two independent witnesses. Mr Oliver highlighted specifically how many people forget certain obligations to make sure their Will is valid.

And there are the basics too, such as forgetting to tell others where your Will is located. One should be kept in a safe place at home that your relatives know of, and another stored with your solicitor or other legal practitioner.

Another issue is capacity, as Wills should not be executed if the testator does not have mental capacity, and if this is in doubt, medical opinion should be sought.

Pay attention to the wording

Mr Oliver also said that not paying enough attention to the wording of the Will and how it will implement the testator’s wishes is another mistake. The advice for creating the perfect document that will ensure your property and assets are distributed as you want is:

Seek expert advice from a solicitor or other will writing professional

Be clear and informative in the Will itself

Communicate the contents of the Will to your intended beneficiaries beforehand to help avoid any unpleasant surprises (and potential disputes) and inform them where the will is

Constantly review your Will to make sure it is clear and that it reflects your wishes and current situation, as people can change their mind/circumstances over the years.

This article is intended as information and is not legal advice.

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