7 Things NOT to Include in Your Will

  • Estate Planning
7 things not to include in your will | estate and probate legal group

Congratulations! You are writing your will. Did you know that according to CNBC, 67% of Americans do not have an estate plan? So, writing your will puts you in the top half of the people in this country. It can be scary, but getting started is not very hard. You might think it’s better to include absolutely everything in your will. Then if there is a problem, your loved ones can work it out after you’re gone. This is a bad idea. There are certain things not to include in your will.

A will ensures the people you want to have your money and assets get them. It also makes sure your items do not go to the people you don’t want to have them.

What You Should Not Include in Your Will

Including items that should not be in your will can cost time and money for your loved ones. A poorly written will may cause family disputes, plus court time and money.

7 things not to include in your will are:

  1. Anything with survivorship rights – You cannot leave your business to your spouse if you have a co-owner. The company will automatically go to the other owner.
  2. Assets listed in a living trust – If you name an individual to manage your assets for the benefit of it being left to them when you die, you cannot name a different beneficiary in your will.
  3. Life insurance or retirement benefits – Often, you list beneficiaries on your life insurance or your 401(k) plans. These take precedence over the beneficiaries of a will.
  4. Payable on Death bank accounts –  for this type of account, the bank will automatically transfer the funds to your beneficiary listed. It will override the will.
  5. Funeral Instructions – The funeral happens before the reading of the will. Therefore, you want to leave funeral instructions elsewhere than in your will.
  6. Conditions on gifts – be careful with requirements that must be met before a person can receive the assets you left for them. You cannot list marriage, divorce or religion as a condition. You cannot leave an illegal condition as part of your will (such as the person must steal a car to get your money).
  7. Assets for your special needs child – you want to establish a special needs trust to ensure your loved one who is mentally or physically disabled is taken care of after you are gone.

This is not a complete list of things not to include in your will. When you’re ready to draft your will, it is best to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Do You Have Questions About Writing Your Will?

With expert guidance from the estate planning attorneys at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois, we can help you establish a will. When done right, the will can allow your beneficiaries to receive their assets without legal trouble. Contact us today at 630-864-5835.

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