It is usually best to be as comprehensive as possible when drafting legal documents related to estate planning or other areas of law. However, there are certain types of property or arrangements that should not or can not be in a will.
Recognizing what should and should not go into a will helps with the probate process. It also better ensures that the decadent’s wishes are honored.
6 provisions to leave out
Various estates have different issues to address, but these are some common examples:
- Funeral plans: A body is not an asset, nor is it part of the estate, so it is best to give desired arrangements to the executor ahead of time so they can fulfill the decadent’s wishes. Payment for the funeral, however, can be handled in the will.
- Jointly held property: The right of survivorship is a defining feature of joint tenancy, which means the co-owner automatically owns property in full after the death of a co-owner.
- Retirement funds and life insurance: These assets require a person to designate a beneficiary, who receives them when the decedent dies.
- Illegal requests or gifts: A symbolic burning of a building, an illegal burial or some other unlawful act are all frowned upon by officials.
- Arrangements for disabled relatives: It is better to use a special-needs trust, which is more comprehensive and specifically designed for these circumstances.
- Placing unlawful conditions upon gifts: Courts will try to honor the terms of a will-maker’s intent, but there are unlawful ones that the court will not allow. Examples of these include converting to a specific faith or only marrying a spouse of that faith.
Have a unique request?
It is best for those who have an unusual request to include in their will to work with an attorney who handles estate planning here in Florida. They understand the state laws and can frame requests so that they have the best chance of being fulfilled.