Your estate plan can bring you peace of mind as a resident of Washington, D.C. When you write an estate plan, it’s important to get everything right because you won’t be able to change it after you’re gone. A simple mistake could cause a lot of legal issues for your loved ones.
What should you know before you start writing your will?
During the estate planning process, you might consider writing a joint will with your spouse to save time. However, your estate planning attorney might caution you against it. If you have separate properties, a judge will have to divide up the assets that aren’t included in your will. Additionally, it’s unlikely that you and your spouse will die at the same time.
You’ll also need to find someone who can act as a witness for your will. The witness must be an objective third party who’s not named in the will and wasn’t involved in the preparation. Since you can’t use your attorney, you might want to find a friend or co-worker that you didn’t include in your will. Ask your attorney about your state’s witness laws because some states require two or more witnesses.
Can your loved ones contest your will after your death?
If you don’t include someone in your will, they might try to contest your will after you’re gone. You can’t stop will contests from happening entirely, but an attorney could help you write the best possible will that leaves little room for interpretation.
To reduce the risk of will contests, it’s important to write a legally-binding document that has multiple witnesses. You should also follow all the legal procedures to ensure that your will can’t be challenged or otherwise delayed.