Leaving behind a comprehensive and valid will can increase the odds that an individual's last wishes will be honored. However, there are steps that everyone should take when creating such a document. For instance, it is important to become familiar with state law to determine what may happen if a will is determined to be invalid. Typically, that would mean that a spouse would inherit assets first followed by children and then parent's and other distant relatives.
For those with children under the age of majority, it may be a good idea to appoint a guardian as part of the will. Doing so increases the odds that the parent gets to choose who raises his or her kids. While a judge may appoint another guardian even if one is named in a will, the wishes of the parent are a large factor in choosing the person for this role.
Those who are planning on writing their own will may miss out on important benefits by doing it themselves. This may be especially true if they have large or complicated estates. For instance, those who are raising grandchildren or have children with special needs may wish to consult with an attorney prior to creating any estate planning documents.
Individuals who are considering transferring assets often have questions as to what would be the most efficacious way to do so. An estate planning attorney may be able to help draft documents such as a will or trust that will comply with applicable state laws. This may provide that individual with a better chance of having his or her last will and testament stand up to any potential legal challenges from family members or other interested third parties.