AJ Smith has provided five tips to avoid common will-writing mistakes and make sure your possessions, finances and loved ones are taken care of properly after you’re gone. They are:

1. Under the process: Every state has different rules about what makes a will legally enforceable, who can write one, who can be a witness and how many witnesses you need.

2. Work with a Lawyer: Because wills are complex and require precise wording, it is important to work with a lawyer who is experienced in estate planning and death taxes.

3. Select Witnesses and Executors Carefully: Putting the burdens of settling your estate on people who are not up to task could result in a mess for your heirs.

4. Include the Small Stuff: Such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Consider establishing a trust so nothing falls to intestacy or state inheritance laws.

5. Tell Someone Where It Is!

Also be sure to revisit and update your will regularly especially when major life events occurs, such as marriage or divorce.

Posted by Theodore H. Waggner, Esq., Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal