Top 10


1. Believing a will needs to be notarized.

In California, the will needs to be witnessed by two (2) disinterested witness.

2. Believing a will avoids a probate.

3. Naming only one executor.

4. Failing to distribute the residue.

Many times people say things like my bank accounts equally to my children. However, your estate may consist of more than just your bank accounts. If you do not designate who should receive the remainder of your estate or anything not mentioned specifically i.e. the residue then this piece will be distributed under the laws of intestacy and not in accordance with your will.

5. Naming a specific account that does not exist at your death.

Mom leaves one account (A,B,C) to each of her three children. Years later she closes account A, and uses account B to pay for medical bills. Only account C remains at mom’s death. Account C transfers to the child listed in the will. Two children would take nothing because his or her account did not exist at death.

6. Not creating a new will after you are divorced.

7. Not preparing a codicil to your will or a new will upon marriage.

8. Not keeping the will in a safe spot that can be located upon your death.

Estates are probated as intestate (i.e. without a will) because the relatives could not locate the original will.

9. Trying to be fair.

It is never a good idea to name someone to act as your executor simply so they won’t feel bad. Naming the right person is the best way to ensure a smooth administration for your beneficiaries.

10. Using a blanket “No Contest Clause”


photo credit: <a href=””>ell brown</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

Comments are closed.