When deciding what to include in your will and estate plan, there are certain things that should not make the cut. While your will is your own, there are always legal guidelines that should be followed if you want your will to be valid. Let’s look at some of the things that you should leave out of your will.
Property and Assets That Should Not Be Included in Your Wheat Ridge Will
Some types of property and assets should not be included in your will because there are other rules that govern what happens to them should something happen to you.
- Retirement and Pension Benefits: These plans require you to name a beneficiary, who will get the benefits no matter what you put in your will
- Life Insurance: These plans require you to name a beneficiary, who will get the benefits no matter what you put in your will
- Joint Accounts: The surviving account holder will get the remaining money.
- Joint Tenancy Property: The surviving tenant will get your half of the property.
- Business Partnership: The surviving partner(s) will get your share unless they consent to something else ahead of time.
Jefferson County Estate Planning Attorney Advice: Other Important Things to Leave Out of Your Will
There are a number of other things that you should consider leaving out of your will, or at least be very careful about how you include them. Some of these items include:
- Conditions on Gifts: You must be careful about putting conditions on any inheritances. You cannot legally include a condition that addresses marriage, divorce, or religion on a person’s ability to inherit what you have left them. Other conditions, like a gift for when a grandchild graduates from college or money you want to give a friend to use for a dream trip is allowable, but can be complicated and may be hard to enforce.
- Gifts for Pets: Animals cannot own property. The best thing you can do for them is choose a loving person to care for them and leave money for that person to help them properly care for your pets.
- Funeral Arrangements: Generally, reviewing the will and opening a probate case will occur after a funeral. This means that if your wishes regarding your funeral are included in the will, it may not be seen. You should have a separate document that specifies these wishes and provide it to your chosen estate executor.
- Grievances: It’s never a good idea to include a list of grievances or issues that you may have with anyone included or excluded from your will.