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Is it better to be specific with a will, or to offer general guidance?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Simple Wills | 0 comments

On the whole, your will is just a document that provides guidance for your family. When you pass away, the will tells them what you would like them to do with your property and how it should be divided.

But is it better to just offer this general type of guidance and let your heirs figure things out, or do you want to be very specific about what you’d like them to do?

Specifics are generally better

Though it is true that every situation is unique, experts generally advise being specific if you have certain items that you want to go to certain people. Don’t just leave that up to one person to decide, as you don’t know for sure that they will do what you want, and don’t just generally tell the heirs to divide things up.

For one thing, general guidance like this can lead to disputes. One heir will say that you would want a specific thing to happen, while another would counter that you would never want that. You can’t sort it out for them, so the heirs may end up in court. If you simply answer this question in advance by including your directions in the will, you help them avoid this entire situation.

Of course, there may also be some more generalized things that you can address. You may tell the children to simply sell the house and split the money up evenly, even though you don’t know exactly how much money they’ll get. But it is always better to be specific if you can.

As you get your estate plan in place, seeking to limit disputes and make sure your wishes are upheld, be sure you know what legal steps to take