David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

There are limits to what you can do with your will

Making plans for the future can be difficult, especially when it requires that you consider things such as what will happen to your property after you pass. When drafting a will, you want to make sure that you clearly state what you want to happen to your assets and property. Having a will is the foundation of any estate plan, but there are limits to what this document can do. 

You may not be able to accomplish all of your estate planning goals with just a will. There are certain things that may be more beneficial for your situation and objectives, such as establishing a trust. It may be helpful to learn more about what you can get done with a will and what else you may want to do for the full amount of protection and security you need.

The limits to your will 

A will outlines what a person wants to happen to his or her property after passing away. It can reduce the chance of conflict with beneficiaries and heirs while also providing a person with peace of mind for the future. However, there are certain types of property you cannot include in your will, including the following:

  • Proceeds from a life insurance policy that have a specified beneficiary
  • Property already set aside and held in a living trust
  • Joint tenancy property
  • Proceeds from a retirement account
  • Stocks and bonds with a specified beneficiary

You may think that, since it's your property or it's in your name, you have the right to decide what will happen to it. In reality, you cannot do that for some types of property in a will. This is why it is important to ensure you have updated and accurate beneficiary designations for certain types of assets and accounts. 

Your funeral plans

It is not prudent to leave your funeral instructions in your will. In the event of an unexpected death, a family may not even take the time to look at the will until after the funeral or when they start working to settle the estate. If specific things are important to have at your funeral, you will want to communicate them to a trusted family member or friend, or you can draft a separate document for your loved ones. 

The goal of your estate plan 

The goal of any estate plan is to allow a person to decide what will happen to his or her stuff and make important decisions about things that may arise in the future. When considering what you should have in your will, you may want to speak with an experienced Florida attorney regarding how you can accomplish your goals and make sure you achieve the full protection of your interests.

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