Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Writing a will can be a difficult task, especially if it is your first time starting the process. To make things easier, we have compiled a list of most common mistakes to avoid so you can ensure your wealth and assets are protected.
#1. Selecting incorrect witnesses
To create a valid will, the witnesses you choose must be over the age of 18 and physically present at the time of signing. It is also important to remember that your witnesses must not be named as beneficiaries in the will or married to someone who is.
#2. Forgetting to update your will
Creating a will isn't just a one-time process. When major life events occur such as the birth of a child, a marriage or divorce, death of a loved one or buying a new property... It is essential that you keep your will up to date to prevent any confusion in the future.
#3. Changing your will once it has been signed
If you do decide to update your will it is not as simple as adding a little note to your existing document. Any alterations will need to be validated in the same way as the original document. Under certain circumstances it may be easier to create a new one.
#4. Leaving out assets
When you create a will, it is crucial that your belongings and assets are correctly distributed to your preferred beneficiaries once you pass away. Many people remember to include possessions such as cars & houses but forget to consider details regarding their bank accounts or even online accounts such as social media profiles.
#5. Not accounting for debts.
Before your assets can be distributed to your beneficiaries, any remaining debts you have must be paid. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself highlighted the seriousness of paying any remaining debts before your death stating, “The soul of the deceased believer remains pending on account of the debt till it (the debt) is repaid.” [At-Tirmidhi].
#6. Making a DIY will
Creating a will can be a complex process. To prevent any mistakes that could invalidate your will, it is best to seek advice from a professional to ensure that correct steps are taken in creating a legally robust document.
#7. Neglecting your duty to create a will
The biggest mistake of all is forgetting to create a will before you die. Without one, you are deemed to have died intestate. This means, that the state of New Jersey, will have authority to divide your estate. If you are seeking to create a Sharia compliant will, it’s vital that you create one before you die to ensure your wealth is distributed in accordance with Islamic rulings.
If you or a loved one has a question regarding an Islamic will in the State of New Jersey or any other Estate Planning matter, please contact me today at (732)515-5593.