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Common Mistakes in Drafting a Wills and Estates Planning

Common Mistakes in Drafting a Wills and Estates Planning

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everybody. This time in history has forced many of us to face our own mortality, making us want to create a will or update an existing one. 

This resulted in more people needing help on drafting a will over the past year and a half. However, it also resulted in more and more mistakes made when a will is being drafted. Here are some examples.

Mistake 1: Failure to Update a Will When a Person Dies

In many cases, a will was drafted years ago for a family member, but there has been a significant change in family circumstances since this time. 

Often how the assets of a deceased person will be distributed will change due to the death of other family members, such as a parent. This means that the original will may no longer reflect the wishes of the deceased person.

Mistake 2: Failure to Draft a will for Someone Married or in a De Facto Relationship

Couples need to be aware that absolutely nothing will happen to your property when you die unless you have made formal arrangements when you are married or in a de facto relationship. 

This means that it is important to draft a will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

Mistake 3: Failure to Include Assets in the Bequests of the Will

If you leave assets to surviving family members in your will, these assets will not automatically be transferred to them in the event of your death. Therefore, it is necessary to include a clause in your will that will transfer the assets to the intended beneficiaries in the event of your death.

Mistake 4: Failure to Include a Share in a Family Trust in a Will

Many people in the UK own assets held in a family trust. If a person dies when they have a share in a family trust, that share will not automatically pass to their spouse or children in the event of their death. 

So, it is also a must to include a clause in a will about the transfer of a share to appropriate family members in the event of your death.

Mistake 5: Lack of Awareness of the Existence of a Will

Sometimes a person might have been told that a will exists, but they are unaware of where it is stored. It is important to know where any existing wills are kept so that you can access them when necessary. 

Ideally, the location of the will should be known to all members of your immediate family.

Mistake 6: Failure to Make a Provision in a Will for a Beneficiary to Care for a Child

It is common for a person to make a will in favour of their spouse or a child of someone’s spouse. What is less common is for a person to make a provision in their will to make arrangements for a beneficiary to care for a child if both parents die. 

If a person dies without a will, then the child will automatically become a legal ward of the state. This means that the child’s guardian will be appointed by the government and not by the deceased person.


It is important to remember that the process of drafting a will is relatively straightforward. However, for this process to be effective and complete, it is essential to understand and take account of the above common mistakes.

At Wills and Probate, we help in all aspects of future and financial planning. From wills to probate to advice on inheritance tax, we can help you secure your best future. We are your dependable companion with lots of help, advice and guides to assist you in making the best decisions for the future of you and your family. If you want to know more about wills and probate in the UK, visit our blog now! We’re glad to be of help.