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How to be specific when writing a will: 3 tips

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Estate Planning |

You should be clear when writing your will. Anyone who reads it should understand every part. Ambiguity can create grounds for a will being contested. Thus, if you want your will to benefit your loved ones as you intended, you should be specific.

Here are three tips to employ:

1. Avoid sentences with several interpretations

If a sentence can be interpreted in different ways, it should not be in your will. This can create room for misunderstandings among beneficiaries, and one of them may challenge the will.

The court will listen to the different interpretations and, using the best of their knowledge, they will determine how the statement should be interpreted. This can take time, and some beneficiaries may not be happy with the judgment.  

2. Ensure the will doesn’t have contradictory clauses

Your will should not be confusing due to contradictions. What you state on the first pages should match what’s at the end. For instance, it can create problems if you designate one person as a sole beneficiary, and then name others as beneficiaries in the latter sections. 

3. Provide specific details

Another tip to use is to provide specific details in your will. For instance, when you want to give an asset to two beneficiaries, state the exact percentage each will receive. You should also pay attention to names. For instance, if you have two nieces called Alice, use surnames or any other quality that differentiates them. Using “my favorite niece, Alice” may lead to confusion.

To avoid problems like these, you can get legal guidance that can help you spot mistakes that may lead to problems for your heirs and thwart your wishes.