Protecting Estates.
Protecting Legacies.

What does not belong in a will?

A will is the legal document that travels through probate court after your death. It sets out how you want personal property handled and, ultimately, disbursed after your death. While it acts as a master key, of sorts, to your estate, there are exceptions to what it can and cannot do.

Learn more about what you cannot include in your will before wasting time drafting one that does not perform as you intend.

Caring for pets

Your will allows you to alert the court and your heirs to the guardianship of minor children and inheritance plans for whomever you list. However, your will cannot perform the same function for your pet. You can open a trust or some other type of account that acts as a receptacle for any money you want used to care for your pet after death.

Planning for the funeral

You may have specific requests and plans for your final resting place. Your will is not the ideal place for these ideas since there is a time delay between your death and the reading of the document. You should have a separate list of instructions left with a close family member or estate representative that sets out your funeral plans.

Changing beneficiaries

While you can decide to change your will to give money and property to others, you cannot disinherit or change beneficiaries of insurance policies or bank accounts. You will have to change beneficiaries on particular fiduciary tools with the company holding them. You can also not change ownership of joint tenancy or accounts.

Knowing what does not go in your will can alter how you build an estate plan.

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