Your will is an important part of a bigger estate plan. It allows you to designate who gets what when you die and name someone as a guardian for your minor children.
However, a will isn’t for everything. This document has limits, and some things should be left out. Usually, the things you don’t include in your will have a different distribution method.
Conditions for gifts
When you leave something to someone, like a family heirloom or car, you can put this information in your will. What you can’t include is the conditions for receiving the item. For example, stating that your sister must keep the family heirloom until she dies isn’t an option since you won’t be around to enforce these conditions. If this is something that you are set on, then you can use a trust to maintain control even after you pass away.
Assets with existing beneficiaries
You likely have life insurance policies, bank accounts and retirement accounts that already have a beneficiary designation. These are things you set up when the account is opened. Since someone is already designed to receive the benefits when you die, they don’t need to be included in your will. If you do include them, and there is conflicting information, it could cause problems when it is time to distribute your estate.
Property in a trust
Trusts can be used to avoid probate, and the trust can include terms related to asset distribution. If you include the items in the trust in your will and it is inconsistent, however, this may cause issues and delays when you pass.
It’s smart to create an estate plan. However, you need to make sure you use the documents accordingly. This will help your family avoid legal issues when you pass away.