Having a will is important to ensure your last wishes and assets are carried out and distributed. If you’re one of the 42% of Americans that have a will, there are a few things you shouldn’t add.
If you have the following items included in your will, then consider making some changes to avoid confusion or redundancy.
1. Jointly Held Accounts and Property
Do you own a piece of property along with a cousin or a friend? If you and the other party each own a stake, then the opposite party becomes the sole owner after a party passes.
Your interest in a property or a bank account disappears when you pass. There are options such as setting up a joint account or joint ownership under an estate to ensure your next of kin receives the full benefits.
If you are worried that the other party won’t help your loved ones or make a financial contribution, then have legal agreements drawn up and signed beforehand.
2. Will Outlining Digital Property
A will outlining who receives your digital property is an area not specifically enforced by any laws. Your collection of music, pictures, movies, or personal documents uploaded to a cloud platform can’t be bequeathed to anyone.
The best way around this is to leave login information and passwords to the appropriate parties.
Another option is to back up your entire digital library on a flash drive or external server and bequeath it to a loved one.
3. Final Funeral Wishes
Some people want to organize and plan everything – even in death. Everyone has a preference for how they wish to be buried and remembered.
Unfortunately, human remains are not considered part of the estate since the human body is not property. Instead, talk to your family and loved ones about what you prefer to happen. It’s unlikely they will go against your wishes.
4. Retirement Plans and Insurance
The reason a person doesn’t need to make plans in a will for retirement funds or insurance payouts – you’ve already done it. If you have an insurance plan or retirement account, you already had to designate beneficiaries in the event of your death.
The beneficiaries listed usually trump different names you may list in a will. If the names will be the same, there’s no need to include them in your will.
5. Unlawful Requests and Gifts
It’s not encouraged or enforceable to ask someone to do an illegal activity in your honor. You also can’t give away illegal drugs or contraband in your will.
Don’t ask a friend or family member to riot or loot a jewelry store in your honor. It’s not advisable to even mention these things in a will, let alone ask or give something to someone.
Take Care of Your Loved Ones
When you start thinking about your death, you want to make sure all your affairs are in order. Just remember to avoid putting certain things in your will. This will prevent confusion and awkwardness.
If you’re ready to put a will together, then contact us today.