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Mistakes when drafting a will

Nevada residents are not required to have a licensed attorney draft their will. However, for people who choose to write their own, they should take care to avoid certain mistakes.

When a will is drafted, it should include a family tree with the names of living and deceased spouses, children, siblings and parents as well as the addresses of the living relatives. This allows the court to notify any next of kin who want to contest the will that they have been disinherited. Not including the disinherited relatives does not make the will more effective.

Another mistake to avoid is leaving money to minors. Individuals under the age of 18 are not allowed to own large amounts of money in their own name. If a minor is the beneficiary of a wealthy inheritance, the court would have to designate someone to protect the assets until the beneficiary becomes an adult. Compensation for the guardian would be deducted for the estate.

Not having the right number of executors can prolong the time beneficiaries will have to wait to get access to their inheritance. If there is only one executor who is named and is unable or unwilling to serve, the court will be required to appoint another one, which can take time. Having too many executors in the will can cause conflict and confusion. If the will is not properly executed, it will be ineffective. The will should end with the grantor's signature, which should be made in front of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries and who may have to complete an affidavit.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may draft or review wills for clients. In addition to a basic will, an attorney might suggest other types of documents such as financial and health care powers of attorney.

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