Friday, June 17, 2016

Situations Where Your Last Will May Be Considered Void

Drafting a last will and testament is something we only hope to do one time. Creating a document that specifies our wishes after our deaths can cause some anxiety in that we are reminded of our mortality, but more than that making changes to a will can cause headaches if not done correctly. You also risk voiding your will under certain circumstances. In order to keep your friends and loved ones from inheriting any headaches along with your estate, it is important to know exactly what events can void your will.

If your will is judged void after your death, it opens the door to any number of disputes between family and friends as they argue over dispersing your assets. Charities you wished to benefit from your generosity may not receive the funds you set aside for them, and even your burial plans may be altered. It is important, therefore, to make sure you following everything to the letter. Here are a few situations that could lead to voiding your will.

1) You make unauthorized changes. When you complete a will, it is typically signed and witnessed, and notarized. If you make written additions or deletions anytime after that period, somebody could contest the validity of the will and cause problems. If you want to make corrections after the legalities are complete, you can either destroy the current will and start over, or draft a codicil to accompany the will you current have.

2) You were not of sound mind when you wrote the will. Some people may be pressured or heavily encouraged to draft a document in order to bring peace of mind for your family. However, a will written under duress or other influence could be proven invalid if somebody believes you were not of sound mind at the time. You want to make it perfectly clear that your wishes are your own, and that you have not been forced to write anything you didn't want to write.

3) Changes in marital status. Depending on the laws in your state, a will drafted before a legal marriage or divorce could allow a party to contest your will if you do not have it changed. If you have a will ready and decide to marry or remarry, speak with your attorney about what needs to be done to ensure your wishes are kept intact.

Take care to know what factors could render your last will and testament void.

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