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The biggest pain points to avoid for your will to be valid

November 21, 2022
Happy people, overcomes the paint points for for their will to be valid

Many of us create a will to ensure our inheritance is distributed to the specified beneficiaries per our wishes, should anything happen to us. 

We believe that crafting a will provides peace of mind for us and our loved ones, but there are certain reasons why a will can be held invalid. Let’s quickly review these and see how we can avoid these risks and ensure the validity of our wills.


Reason 1: The will contains outdated asset information.

Even if you make a good will, your asset catalog tends to change over time. You open new bank accounts, take out new insurances, open new online trading portfolios or financial accounts, buy new real estate or sell old property, get shares in businesses — the reality nowadays is that people have very dynamic asset portfolios, even if they are not high net worth individuals. 


If a fatal event happened to you, your loved ones might be unpleasantly surprised to discover that your will was of little value if it didn’t depict your current assets

How to protect your heirs

Using online legacy management software or digital will maker services can greatly protect against that risk. These services provide an easy and convenient way to keep your asset catalog up to date and automatically update your will accordingly. This way, you ensure that your will always reflects your current assets and your latest wishes regarding the distribution of your inheritance to your loved ones. 


Reason 2: The will is not properly signed or witnessed.

For a will to be valid, it has to be properly signed and witnessed. 

How to protect your heirs

To protect against this risk, it is very important to use the professional services of a law firm or an established online digital will maker service

Online will maker services make it easy to prepare and update your will. This makes them often the preferred method, rather than traditional law firms. And on top of this, they are usually much cheaper. 


Reason 3: The testator didn’t have the necessary mental capacity.

If the person who made the will did not have the necessary mental capacity, for example, due to an injury or severe illness, the will can be deemed invalid. 


How to protect your heirs: 

The best way to protect against that risk is to provide a medical record certifying sound mental capacity at the time the will is made. As a second-best option, this could also be clearly stated in the will and then signed by the testator and the witnesses. However, an official medical record, in addition to this, will provide the greatest protection against the risk of an invalid will. 


Reason 4: There is more recent will.

Sometimes the reason for invalidating a will is not anything to do with the will itself. If the person who made the will has a more recent will, the latest will invalidates all previous ones. 


Usually this is proven by the date of the will, which is a mandatory part of the document. 


How to protect your heirs

Using an online will maker service can greatly reduce this risk because online will maker services usually automatically manage the versions of your will. As soon as you create a new will, the digital will service automatically invalidates any previous ones. 


Make sure you use a professional online will maker service that will include all mandatory aspects of a will, including the date. 


Reason 5: The executor and the heirs cannot find the will.

Often, people make a will that will be triggered many years after its creation. This imposes a big risk for the executor of the will and the beneficiaries that they simply won’t be able to find the will

While this risk, technically speaking, does not invalidate the will, it is a very tangible risk which might prevent the beneficiaries from stepping into possession of their inheritance, so we have included it in our list. 


How to protect your heirs

Again, using an online estate planning or legacy management service can greatly protect against this risk. 


Testators can share access information with the executor, as well as with the beneficiaries. 

Some online legacy management and digital inheritance services provide additional capabilities, such as the automatic detection of a fatal event that has happened to the testator. Upon detecting such an event, the service proactively notifies the executor and the beneficiaries about their designated assets. This way, they don’t have to worry about remembering access details, links to the will or the location of physical storage vaults. The services provide that information to them proactively when a fatal event has been detected. 

Lawyers often say that there is never a 100% guarantee that your will will be valid, and we largely agree with that. Still, you can take destiny in your hands and greatly reduce the risk of having your will declared invalid.


Editorial Team
Guardians of your digital footprint, the DGLegacy® editorial team is dedicated to helping you protect your assets and secure your family’s future with expert insights on digital legacy planning and inheritance. Have a story to share? We’d love to hear it! Contact us at editors@dglegacy.com.