What Not To Include When Making a Will: Tips to Keep in Mind

It is never too early to start planning for your death and the future of your estate. Making a Will is an important decision that many people put off until it’s too late. A Will is a legal document that dictates what should happen to your property and assets after you die. 


Now that you’ve decided to make a Will, it’s time to think about what not to include in your Will. This blog post discusses the items you should never include and leave out of your Will while Will estate planning for yourself and those closest to you.

Let’s get started.

What Kinds of Property Must a Will Not Include?

Most of the properties include regulations that regulate what occurs after you pass away. Because the essence of these assets is to identify a recipient or prevent probate, these requirements are autonomous of your Will.

Joint tenancy property

This type of transfer does not go through probate, so you don’t need to wait for your death before changing or removing it from the Will. Therefore, when one party dies, their share passes on to them regardless if they want that beneficiary as heir or executor.

Bonds and Stocks held in beneficiary

Another form of property that immediately passes to your designated recipient is this one. If you want to modify the specified beneficiary, contact the brokerage firm.

Beneficiary-named life insurance profits

As with the trust, the proceeds are immediately distributed to the beneficiary, who is frequently a spouse or underage children.


Don’t use a Will to avoid paying estate taxes

In the past, many people have tried to use a Will to avoid estate taxes. You can include some things in your Will that may affect how much tax is owed upon your death, but this should not be an excuse for making one since all states impose various charges on probate estates whether or not they owe any federal or state inheritance tax.

Avoid including funeral directives

What to do with your body after you die is a very personal decision. Suppose you include specific instructions regarding the type of funeral service, burial, or cremation in your Will. In that case, it can be not very clear for those who may not know precisely what you wanted. This is why you must avoid including specific requests regarding funeral services, burial, or cremation in your Will.

Wills are not exempt from probate

This is one common myth when it comes to creating a Will. However, this misconception can be dangerous because if you have assets, not in your name alone or jointly with someone else, they could still go through the probate process.

Be cautious about the conditions you impose on gifts

Not every one of the requirements is lawful. Wedding, divorce, or a shift in the recipient’s faith are all examples of circumstances that cannot be included in a valid Will. As a result, they will not be enforced by a court. Other sorts of conditions can be placed on gifts.

Never Leave Gifts to Pets in your Will

While it might be tempting to write in your Will that you want all of your possessions left to pet, this is not a good idea. Pets are considered property, and any conditions set out will likely undo the gift.

The Bottom Line

A Will is typically the last thing on an individual’s mind when they are alive, but it can be one of the most important documents to have in place. When preparing a Will, you should remember that a Will should be designed to provide for your loved ones upon your passing. To ensure that this is the case, you need to avoid including items in your Will that could cause problems or delay when it comes time for the assets to be distributed.

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