Your will can do a few necessary things – and you should have a well-crafted will. If done correctly, it will distribute family heirlooms and name a guardian for your children. But did you ever wonder what a will WON’T do for you?
1. Your Will won’t distribute some types of property. To distribute assets from your retirement account or investment account or the proceeds of a life insurance policy, you must make certain that you have correctly designated a beneficiary. Your beneficiary designations supersede the instructions in your Will. Also, if you own property jointly with someone else, you cannot distribute that through your Will.
2. Your Will won’t provide for your long-term care. If you want to prepare and provide for your long-term care needs or you must provide for a family member with special needs, a Will is not adequate to protect you. You will need guidance to establish a trust and/or invest in a life insurance policy.
3. Your Will won’t diminish Estate Taxes. Your will won’t help you address estate taxes (taxes are determined by Congress and your state and are subject to change).
4. Your Will won’t provide for your pets. Pets cannot own property. The right way to protect your pets is to establish a pet trust and/or designate a caretaker for your pets and provide funds for their care after you are gone.
5. Your Will won’t avoid probate. If you have assets that exceed a certain dollar amount, your estate will have to be probated which can be costly and the costs will diminish the amount that is distributed to your heirs. Probate is public, so anyone can access the details of your estate.
If you want to learn more about Wills, Living Wills, Advance Health Care Directives, Power of Attorney, Trusts or any other aspect of estate planning, visit our website at Truestlaw.com or call our office at 480-949-6400 to schedule a time for us to talk. We are happy to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session for you to ensure the peace of mind for your family. We generally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session. However, because this planning is so important, we have reserved the first two spaces at no charge for the first two people who mention this article.