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Creating a Will: Important Considerations and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Jul 11, 2023
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Have you ever thought about what would happen to your assets and loved ones if something unexpected were to happen to you? It’s not a pleasant thought, but creating a will is an essential step in ensuring that your wishes are fulfilled, and your loved ones are taken care of when you’re no longer around. In this blog post, we’ll explore some important considerations to keep in mind when creating a will, as well as common mistakes to avoid.


Understand the Purpose of a Will

First things first, let’s clarify the purpose of a will. A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets, guardianship of minor children, and other important matters after your passing. It ensures that your estate is managed and distributed according to your wishes and provides clarity to your loved ones during a challenging time.


Take Inventory of Your Assets

Before you start drafting your will, it’s crucial to take inventory of your assets. This includes your bank accounts, investments, real estate, vehicles, personal belongings, and any other valuable possessions. Knowing what you own will help you make informed decisions about how you want to distribute your assets and prevent any unintended omissions.


Choose an Executor Wisely

Selecting the right executor is a critical decision when creating a will. Your executor will be responsible for managing your estate, paying outstanding debts, filing tax returns, and distributing assets according to your wishes. It’s important to choose someone who is trustworthy, organized, and capable of handling these responsibilities. Discuss your decision with the potential executor beforehand to ensure they are willing to take on this role.


Clearly Define Beneficiaries

One of the main purposes of a will is to identify your beneficiaries—the individuals or organizations who will inherit your assets. Take the time to clearly define and name your beneficiaries to avoid confusion or disputes after your passing. Be specific in your descriptions and include full names, contact information, and any specific instructions you may have.


Consider Guardianship for Minor Children

If you have minor children, naming a guardian in your will is crucial. This ensures that your children will be cared for by someone you trust in the event of your untimely demise. Discuss this decision with the potential guardian to make sure they are willing to assume this responsibility. Remember to review and update this information periodically as circumstances may change.


Regularly Review and Update Your Will

Life is dynamic, and so should be your will. As your circumstances change over time, it’s essential to review and update your will accordingly. Significant life events such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, changes in financial status, or the acquisition of new assets may necessitate revisions to your will. Make it a habit to review your will every few years or whenever a major life event occurs.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

Now that we’ve covered some important considerations, let’s highlight a few common mistakes that people make when creating a will:

Procrastinating: Don’t wait until it’s too late. Creating a will is not something you want to put off indefinitely. None of us can predict the future, so it’s best to be prepared.

DIY Wills: While it may be tempting to create your own will using online templates or software, it’s highly recommended to consult an experienced estate planning attorney. They will ensure that your will complies with all legal requirements and is tailored to your specific needs.

Forgetting Digital Assets: In this digital age, don’t forget to account for your online presence and digital assets in your will. Consider providing instructions on how to access and manage your digital accounts, including social media, email, and online banking.

Neglecting Beneficiary Designations: Keep in mind that some assets, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and certain investments, have beneficiary designations. Ensure that these designations are up to date and aligned with your overall estate planning goals.


Creating a will is a responsible and caring act that provides peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. By understanding the important considerations and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your final wishes are respected, and your assets are distributed according to your intentions. Remember to periodically review and update your will as circumstances change. Don’t delay—start the process today and take control of your legacy.