When you are planning your estate, drafting a will is going to be one of the first things you do. The will includes a lot of pertinent information, including where your assets will go, and who should be in charge of your estate after you pass. However, there are certain things that will not be included in the will. Here are some limitations you should be aware of, as these will not be in a will and must be sorted in another way.
Not All Property is Included
While some property can be included in your will, other types will need to go in a different part of your estate planning package. For example, a will can't include property that was transferred to a trust or property where you own it with someone else, or is community property. You also can't leave proceeds from a life insurance policy to someone who is not your named beneficiary, or property in beneficiary form. If you have a named beneficiary, you can't name another person in your will to receive money from your individual retirement account, 401k, or pension plan.
Don't Try to Avoid Probate
Having a will does not let you avoid probate. If you leave property to another person or organization as named in your will, it may spend a few months or even years going through probate court. Once probate is over, it is finally given to the people who inherited it, according to your will. Having a will does not avoid probate. If you want to avoid your loved ones going through probate, consider a living trust. (Contact Davis & Mathis for more information on probate)
Conditions Are Not Allowed
Despite what moves you have seen, you can't force people to get married, divorce, have a child, or change their religion before they can receive a gift or inheritance from you. This is not something you are able to include in your will. On the other hand, there are some conditions that are allowed in a will, such as leaving money for your grandchildren to be used only for college. Speak to your lawyer if you want more information about conditions that are or are not accepted.
You Can't Encourage Illegal Behaviors
Your will is limited to only legal behaviors and requests. You can't leave money to someone to be used for illegal purposes. For example, you can't leave money for a relative so they can start an illegal business, such as cultivating marijuana in a state where it is not legal to do so. This is another limitation that requires the guidance of a lawyer to be sure you are only including things that are legal in your will.
No Money For Your Pets
You also can't leave any of your money to your pets. Instead, you should include the names of people who should receive your pets after your passing because you know they are responsible pet owners. If you want your pets to have the best, you can include some of your money in the will to go to these new pet owners.