If you’ve decided it’s time to write or update a will, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind. Although the benefits of being as specific as possible in your final will and testament will ensure your surviving beneficiaries know what your final wishes are when it comes to your assets and property, there are things you should not and cannot include.
In most cases, funeral arrangements are among the first things that are handled when a person dies. The probate and/or estate proceedings typically don’t happen until after the funeral. If you put your funeral wishes in your final will and testament, your beneficiaries may not know your wishes in time. The best thing to do is to speak with your loved ones about what you want and/or don’t want. You can also prepare a separate document that outlines your wishes for your funeral, which you’ll want to give the executor of your estate.
Certain types of property
If you have a life insurance policy that has a named beneficiary, instructions for your policy do not need to be included in your will, since the proceeds will automatically be distributed to the beneficiary upon your death. The same holds true for retirement plan proceeds.
It’s also worth noting that if you own a joint tenancy property, the right to survivorship will automatically be granted to your joint tenant as a matter of law. Your share of the property cannot be willed to someone else.
Your digital estate
If you have a significant volume of books, movies and songs in your iTunes, Amazon and/or other cloud-based accounts, you’re not currently able to will your digital estate to someone else. Although the laws on this may change in the future, at the current time, the only thing you can do is to provide your account information to a designated beneficiary.
If you jointly own property with a former spouse, but you’re the one who has been living in the residence and you don’t want your former spouse to inherit the home, you can’t ask your family members to burn it down once you’re gone.
Have questions? Call The Law Network PC today
If you have questions about the types of things you shouldn’t or can’t put into a will, we can help. At The Law Network PC, we have years of experience in helping people plan their estates. We can help you with an asset protection trust, a medical and/or financial power of attorney, trust administration and more.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to establish a trust, or you’d like to schedule a time to come into our office to sit down with an estate planning attorney, call The Law Network PC today a 303-267-1111. We’re open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Our firm works with both individuals and business owners, and we’re committed to making sure you’re fully informed of your legal options.