Estate Planning Attorney Advice: What to Leave Out of a Will

Although a will can be fairly all-encompassing, there are some things that you’ll need to leave out of it. It’s ok to be comprehensive when making your will, and it’s understandable that you want to have everything covered, but it’s not always possible. Today in the Davidson Law Group blog, an estate lawyer explains what you should leave out of your will.

Items That Automatically Go to a Beneficiary

Certain items, like life insurance, retirement plans, stocks and bonds, living trusts, and payable on death bank accounts do not need to be included in your will. The reason is that these accounts already have beneficiaries named. Meaning whoever you named as beneficiary will automatically receive these funds upon your death. Our estate lawyers say you don’t have to worry about putting these things in your will, as it would just be redundant.

Joint Tenancy Items

If you have a property that you share with a joint tenant, they will automatically take full ownership of that property even if you say otherwise in your will. Our estate lawyer recommends discussing this issue with your joint tenant if you want a different outcome because otherwise, there isn’t any other way around it.

Related Post: Davidson Law Group Explains: What Is Joint Tenancy?

Illegal Gifts

Obviously, leaving illegal gifts or ill-gotten gains isn’t allowed in a will. Even if you have your estate lawyer put items such as these in your will, they won’t be enforced. You also need to be careful about what kind of conditions you put on your gifts. Make sure the conditions are legal and can’t be misconstrued. Your estate lawyer can help you outline conditions such as these.

Funeral Arrangements

If you want specific funeral arrangements, a will isn’t the place to outline them. Since your family will be making funeral arrangements right after your death, they won’t see the arrangements made in the will. Typically, you go over the will after the funeral has already been held. If you do have the arrangements that you want, you should make a separate document and talk to your loved ones about it. This is easier for them and makes creating your will a little easier and quicker too.

Related Post: Estate Planning: What to Include in a Letter of Instruction

Talk with an Estate Lawyer

The easiest way to find out what to put in your will and what to leave out is to work with an estate lawyer. They can help you create a will that is airtight, and that has everything important in it. Davidson Law Group has an experienced estate lawyer team standing by to help you. We know making a will is a sensitive process, and that’s why we want to help you through it and make it as painless and easy as possible. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.