Frequent Problems and Issues with Wills and What You Can Do About Them

  • Written by Diana Smith

Writing a will is one of the most important things you’ll ever do, no matter how old you are, where you live, and how many successors you have. Most people don’t even like thinking about their will because they feel this is something that marks the end of their lives, but the truth is quite the opposite. Writing a will is a responsible and significant process you have to complete while you’re feeling healthy, both mentally and physically, and can be accountable for your actions. If that’s not the case, your will can be scrutinized and even disputed, and those are just two of the most common problems with the will for people around the world, from Australia to Norway. If you wish to avoid these issues and make sure everything’s in order, here are other issues you need to take into consideration and try to avoid at all costs.

Formal issues

Even though wills everywhere in the world basically do the same thing and cover the same areas, their form isn’t always the same. They come in different shapes and are created under the laws of a particular country, but what remains the same is their formal validity. Namely, they have to be written in a certain manner and those who write them have to make sure they’re doing everything by the law.

For example, if you’re in Australia, making a valid will isn’t as hard as it seems. It just needs to be in writing – either typed or handwritten – and properly signed by yourself and your witnesses, and that’s it! The procedure is more or less the same in other parts of the world, but you still need to double-check legal requirements and make sure your will is absolutely legal.

Improper execution

After you come up with your will, sign it, and make sure it’s as legal as it gets, it’s time for you to say goodbye to your will and leave it to those who will execute it in your stead. These people are your trustees and their job is to ensure your will is executed under the law and your wishes. However, that’s not always the case, and sometimes the will is not executed properly, and this is another frequent issue that might cause you troubles.

The problem with improperly executed wills is that they instantly become invalid and illegal, and it doesn’t matter how much time, energy, and patience you’ve invested in writing them. This is why this issue is so serious and dangerous, and even though these situations don’t appear too often, they’re still plausible and you should take them into account. In the end, wills that aren’t executed properly usually move to the court of law and that’s where the real problems begin, at least for those who are supposed to be the rightful successors of the will-maker.

Various disputes

Most people believe that wills aren’t to be disputed – those who’ve passed away have made up their mind and acted in a certain way, and it’s up to us to respect their wishes. While that may be true in most cases, it’s not always like that. In fact, wills aren’t always a matter of fairness and justice because they’re sometimes not fair from the very beginning, and that’s when disputes come into play.

The biggest reason why people around the world dispute wills is the feeling that they’ve been unfairly left out of them. Whether they’ve been a close relative of the deceased person or not, they might feel they have a right to inherit something from them because of their past and the bond they’ve shared. That’s why it’s important to identify the section of the will that treats you unfairly and talk to the lawyer regarding it. Doing this on your own is never a good idea, and having a professional by your side is the right way to go. Some lawyers even specialize in these matters, and if you’re in Australia, for instance, you’ll have no problem finding an experienced will dispute lawyer in Sydney who will represent you. From assessing your claim to giving you advice on what to do, these people will help you feel better about your dispute and make sure your legal rights are respected.

Loss of a will

This problem might seem a bit comical and implausible at first, but you’d be surprised to learn that millions of people around the globe lose their wills every single year. So, it’s not about how you draft and write them, who you leave your possessions to, or whether or not someone will feel treated unfairly – it’s about keeping your will at a safe place and remembering where that place is. Unfortunately, elders sometimes have a problem doing these things, and if they haven’t let anyone know where their will is, losing it might be easier than you can imagine.

Luckily, creating a will is a bit more complex than writing it and hiding it away from prying eyes, and that’s why you need to have witnesses, lawyers, and other people around you during every step of the process. Wills are usually made in several copies that are kept in different spots, and if something happens to yours, you or your successors can use the other copies and avoid the troubles. If successors end up being unable to find the master copy of the will, they need to contact the lawyers, the bank, or the accountant of the deceased and try to get the copy of the will. So, no matter what happens, keep in mind that finding a will isn’t as impossible as you think – just stay calm and talk to the people who know more about the will than you do, and you’ll solve this problem ASAP.

Some of the other problems involving the wills include the trustees not exercising their discretion, administrative errors, the incorrect draft of the will, and the lack of financial support for the successors. So, in case you’re facing some of these problems, contact your lawyer and start solving the issues right away!

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