Creating an Estate Planning Package: What a Will Cannot Address

A lot of people think that estate planning is just about writing a will. A will is an important part of a comprehensive estate plan. But there are other estate planning tools you can use. A will cannot address some kinds of assets. Thus, it may not leave assets to your family based on your desires. Other estate planning tools are necessary or might be the right option to achieve your goals. Seek legal help if you are not sure about which tools best meet your needs. A will and testament cannot protect the following:

Life Insurance Proceeds

Designate a beneficiary for your life insurance policy. Any instructions in your will regarding who gets your insurance proceeds may not be honored.  Take steps to change your beneficiary through your insurance provider. This ensures your designated beneficiary gets the proceeds. In addition, a will can’t impact retirement plan designations.

Funeral or Burial Instructions 

A will and testament cannot describe your wishes about your funeral and burial. Use another means to leave instructions to your family about this concern. Usually, a will is read after a funeral. 

Jointly Titled Assets

Your will only conveys property you own. A property held with somebody else can benefit from gifting. Your co-owner gets a property you jointly own with the right of survivorship.  

Usually, the other spouse gets the house when the other dies without reference to a will. A will does not address this property. Thus, you cannot also gift this property to somebody else. 

Certain Bank Accounts or Funds

You can’t just leave somebody an investment fund through your will. A will cannot address your intention to leave the fund’s money to a certain beneficiary. Rather, your designated executor will liquidate the account and give the account’s value to your beneficiary. 

Someone else can get the account’s value if the account is designated payable on death. But only the value of the account’s assets pass, not the account itself. 

A will and testament is an important estate planning tool. But it is only a bigger package of your estate plan. Contact a skilled estate planning attorney to learn more. An attorney can help you make a planning package that addresses all your specific needs. A reliable attorney will make the estate planning process easy for you. They ensure that you decide how you want your assets to be divided when you pass away.  

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