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2 things you should leave out of your will

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2022 | Estate Planning

Your will is the foundation of your entire estate plan. While having a detailed will is important, there are some things you should not include. 

Knowing what doesn’t belong in a will (and leaving these things out of it) will likely help your beneficiaries after you pass away. Here are two things that need to be kept out of your will:

1. Property in a trust

If you create a trust, it is a separate way to distribute assets. Since the trust is an independent entity, you must avoid inconsistencies. If you have put something in a trust, you should not include it in your will. 

Many people choose to create trusts to avoid the probate process. When you put your assets or property into the trust, they are then subject to the established rules, which are explained in the trust, not the will. 

2. Assets with beneficiaries

Some financial accounts and assets are transferable or payable on death. They are paid or distributed to the named beneficiaries directly. This means they shouldn’t be included in your will. 

Several things can have named beneficiaries. If you have these without a beneficiary, it can help to name one now and keep things simple after you pass away. These things include:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Bank accounts
  • Pension plans and retirement accounts
  • Investment or brokerage accounts

Suppose you have different instructions regarding the beneficiary for these in your will, then the named beneficiary on the account. In that case, it can cause issues and slow down the distribution of your assets. 

Creating an estate plan that works for your family

Creating an estate plan takes time and effort. You must ensure you include all the necessary items and instructions but avoid including items that should not be added. Knowing your legal options when creating an estate plan will ensure your assets are handled and distributed based on your wishes after you pass away.