The importance of drafting a will by an attorney

The importance of drafting a will by an attorney

June 25, 2014

A will is a binding legal document that constitutes a kind of a "last personal letter" to the relatives and loved ones, in which the deceased expresses his wishes and last requests before his death. When the will does not meet the requirements of the law and is annulled for this reason, or if its wording is unclear and enforceable, the will of the deceased may not exist or will take place only after a lengthy and complex legal procedure that may also lead to unnecessary family disputes.
The supreme principle underlying inheritance law is the fulfillment of the will of the deceased. The presumption inherent in the will is that the will expresses the true and full will of the deceased. A will is one of the most important decisions for a person in his life, in which he expresses his true desire for what will be done with his property after his demise. In the absence of a will, including if the will was canceled for any reason, the inheritance is by law and not necessarily as the deceased wanted. Only through the making of a will that is properly drafted under law and using a knowledgeable lawyer can a person be assured that after his death his property will be distributed according to his wishes. This will also be the case if the will was canceled due to non-compliance with the conditions of the law.
A properly drafted will clearly defines the free will of the authorized person and will be enforceable and immediately implemented. Among other things, Israeli law requires various formal conditions for validating the will (e.g, witnesses required in certain cases), special procedure in case of reciprocal wills (mutual wills of spouses, mutual benefit) and determines how to treat bequeath to persons who participated in the drafting of the will. The law also refers to a situation in which a previous will had already existed and is now being cancelled, modified or added to. Failure to pay attention to these conditions may cause the will to be canceled.
Moreover, it is important to pay attention to the correct wording of the will clauses. A will well drafted by a lawyer not only prevents inheritance disputes but also allows the heirs to honor the testator after his death. The law states that a will from which one cannot understand who inherits what is void. However, sometimes an unclear drafting, or a drafting that causes impossibility to fulfil the will may not only cause the invalidation of the will but may also, if not voided, slow the process of holding the will or even stop it for long periods of time. Thus, it is important that the will be drafted by a lawyer who will ensure that it meets the requirements of the law and is clear and applicable.