When thinking about creating a will, there are some things you need to understand about the process. Drafting a will is an integral part of planning for your family’s future, and it should be done sooner rather than later. Dying without a will can be costly and time consuming for those left behind. While the document is meant to create a record of your final wishes, there are some things it cannot do. Check out things you can’t put in your will.
Give Funeral Wishes
Your will becomes effective upon your death; however, it does not get read typically until after your funeral. Therefore, leaving your funeral wishes in the will does not make sense. Instead, create a “final wishes” document and make sure the executor of your estate knows where it is. Give copies to those who will be in charge of the funeral so they can carry out your requests.
Divide Certain Property
Some property can be divided in a will while other property cannot. Examples of property that can’t be accounted for in a will include:
- Property co-owned with someone else
- Property in a living trust
- Life insurance proceeds with a named beneficiary
- Pension plan or retirement plan money
- Stocks, bonds or other money that is transferred upon death to a beneficiary
Set Terms on Gifts
When you decide to leave personal property to specific people in your will, you cannot put additional conditions on the process. For instance, you can’t leave a diamond necklace to your oldest daughter if you put a condition on it such as “she can’t be married.” When you gift beneficiaries items in your will, it is an automatic give.
Call for the Care of a Special Needs Child
When you have children, part of the function of your will is to designate a chain of guardianship or custody for them. However, this typical process does not apply to children or dependents with special needs. As the parent of a special needs child, you need to create a separate document that outlines how continued care shall be administered upon your death.
Before writing a will, be sure you have a general idea of the things it needs to address. Always consult an estate planning attorney to make sure you get the estate planning documents you need. The last thing you want to do is make your death harder on your loved ones than it has to be. To this end, a solid will and plan should be hashed out.