Writing a last Will and testament is actually considered a pretty wise decision. If you die, your surviving heirs and beneficiaries will be given a fair share of your properties and assets, so you do not want to leave them behind without getting anything.
Although technically, you can write your Will without a lawyer, it would still be best to get family legal services to ensure that the things that you’ve written on that document will be considered as valid in court.
That being said, there are some things that you need to leave out on your Will which I will discuss in this article.
Properties Not to Include
Even though you can put some of your properties in your Will, there are some that you cannot include either because it is also named after another person (in the case of joint properties) or if the property was secured to avoid probate.
Property in a Living Trust-
You want to avoid probate as much as possible so if you want to do that, you need to set up a living trust. If that happens, the property will immediately be given to your surviving heirs.
Joint Tenancy Property-
This type of property means that it is co-owned by someone else, probably your spouse, your best friend, or a family member. But, in the event that you die, you share of the property will directly be given to your surviving joint tenant, even though you put it in your Will that it will be given to someone else.
Life Insurance Proceeds-
The premise of this is the same as that of the living trust
When you get a retirement plan, you will immediately specify a beneficiary that will receive your proceeds in the event of your untimely death.
Do Not Avoid Leaving Funeral Instructions
One of the first things that your Will’s Executor will look for is if you have specific instructions about what should be done to your body after you die.
These instructions can either be placed on your Will or you can write it on a separate document that will be executed by your appointed Executor.
Do Not Use a Will to Escape Taxes
Remember that a Will is still subject to estate taxes. That being said, to avoid heavy taxes, you can talk with your lawyer about the different types of trusts that can work in your situation.
A Will May Not Necessarily Escape a Probate
Do keep in mind that even if you have written a Will that details all of your beneficiaries and what properties they will get, it will still have to go through probate proceedings. But, even if that is the case, the process can be sped up because you already have all of the names on the document and, in most cases, the court will grant your wishes.
If you want to avoid probate altogether, you simply just have to leave the property to a trust fund instead of directly giving it to your surviving heirs.