Your last will and testament is a powerful, important document. It discloses your wishes and gives direction on how to distribute your property when you are gone. As such, you should consider carefully what you include in your will.
Your will should be comprehensive, clear and legally valid. It can include just about anything you want, but you would be wise to leave out certain clauses. For instance, the following types of clauses could create contention and complexity. In some cases, they could also make parts of your will unenforceable.
If you include any illegal clauses in a will, you could invalidate the whole document. As such, do not leave money for illegal purposes or put unlawful conditions on your gifts.
You should also be sure any gifts you leave are, in fact, yours to give. Making sure the recipient can lawfully receive the property or payment will also be crucial. Having an attorney help you when creating your will can help to ensure your will is legal and enforceable.
Language can be more confusing than you think. And overly complicating your wishes can make it difficult for others to accurately interpret what you want. As such, you should thoroughly review your will for grammatical errors, typos, and vague or confusing language.
Surprising or controversial clauses can trigger disputes. For instance, if you leave your estate to an unusual organization or leave one of your children out of your will, parties could have reason to contest the will. They might cite undue influence or mental incapacity as reasons why they want the courts to set the will aside.
Further, you could put your loved ones in difficult spots if you want them to do something that goes against their beliefs or is otherwise comfortable.
Keeping illegal, confusing and controversial clauses out of your will makes it easier for the courts to uphold your wishes. Leaving them out can also help loved ones avoid a lengthy probate process and strained family dynamics.