You should always create a will to specify your wishes related to healthcare, assets, and property. You should hire a will planning attorney to make a living will. But even before you hire a lawyer, know about the few things you shouldn’t include in your will.
1. Avoid Placing Funeral Instructions
The part about estate settling and probate process occurs after the funeral is over. The funeral is one of the primary things that happen after the death of a person. So, most of the time, the funeral arrangements in the will are not even noticed until it is over.
● Where Can You Provide Funeral Instructions?
Instead of mentioning it in your will, let your family know about your funeral wishes. You can even make a different document laying out your funeral wishes and submit it to the state executor.
2.Do Not Use Wills To Escape Tax
Many people use wills to reduce their estate tax. But it is wise to use different types of trusts to avoid paying high taxes.
Trust helps in exempting taxes as the property is not passed directly to the beneficiary. It goes to the trust account, which the beneficiary cannot control completely.
3. Do Not Leave Gifts For Pets
Animals cannot own property as per the law. Instead, you can leave your pet with someone who will take care of them when you are gone. You can leave that particular person money or property for taking care of the pet.
You can make your pet a beneficiary according to some state law. You should verify your state law first before making a trust for your pet. However, if you can find someone to care for your pet, there is no need for such trust.
4. Do Not Specify Arrangements For A Person With Special Needs
You can undoubtedly make arrangements for a person with special needs. But a will is not the most appropriate document to do so. You can make use of different trusts for that purpose. A special needs trust is responsible for addressing the special needs of a disabled person in general.
5. Do Not Include Digital Assets
For digital assets, you need to create special plans outside your will. A will is never a suitable option for the transfer of digital assets.
Sometimes it is not even legally possible to transfer digital assets. This is because you never owned the digital assets in the first place. You simply had a license to use it.
- Some social media platforms have special features that will allow you to grant permission to individuals to access your account after your death.
- You can check the terms and conditions of the company for managing your account upon death. In such cases, a will is not going to be valid.
- You should never include the login id and password of any digital asset in your will. A will becomes public property after your death.
So, it can be read by anyone. You can keep such private information in a separate location and inform your fiduciary about it.
6. Do Not Include Assets With Designated Beneficiary
Some assets require you to name a beneficiary. Upon your death, such assets will automatically go to the beneficiary. You do not need any additional steps to transfer the assets to your beneficiary upon your death.
Therefore, you are not required to include assets with a designated beneficiary in your will. Such assets include pensions, life insurance, stocks, real estate, and other things.
7. Don’t Include Assets With A Survivorship Right
A will should contain assets that are solely owned by you. Any property held in joint ownership need not be included in your will. Such assets are automatically transferred to the surviving owner. So, it is not possible to leave your share of joint properties to someone else.
You will have to change the title of the asset if you are interested in giving it to someone else. A will cannot help distribute assets with the right of survivorship.
8. Don’t Include Assets In A Trust
Trust assets cannot be passed by a will. They will automatically pass to the beneficiaries when you die or become incapacitated. This is applicable for assets included in revocable as well as irrevocable trusts.
Why Should You Avoid Placing The Trust Assets In A Will?
Assets in a will have to undergo the probate process. The probate process is time-consuming and can often require tons of capital. Therefore, wills are not considered an effective way of transferring assets to your loved ones.
A will is an integral piece of a legal document. It allows you to mention certain things that no other component of estate planning can. But you should remember not to include the details mentioned in this article while creating your will. You can hire a last will attorney to get legal assistance for making a will.