Have you written your will yet? Congratulations if you have. Because you have taken an important step towards defining your wishes with respect to what will happen to your assets when you pass on.
While a will gives you the assurance that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes upon your demise, it is important to understand that not all assets belong in this estate planning tool. Here are three things you should never include in your will.
While there is nothing legally preventing you from including your business interests in the will, there are compelling reasons why you should never. When you pass on, your will shall go through probate, which can be time-consuming. This can interfere with the business transition process. Obviously, you do not want your business’ succession to be contested.
Your personal desires
It is not uncommon to have specific personal desires regarding your funeral arrangement. Perhaps you want to be cremated and your remains buried or handed over to a specific family member. Having such wishes in your will may not be a great idea given that this document goes through the probate process that may take time to settle. Obviously, you do not want your burial to be put on hold indefinitely while your will goes through probate. Instead of including such instruction in your will, you are better off providing your loved ones with a letter of instruction that will direct them on how to handle personal wishes when you pass on.
Certain types of assets
Finally, there are certain assets that you should omit from your will. Here are some of these assets:
- Assets that are held in a trust
- Assets with beneficiary designations
- Assets that you co-own with someone else
- Gifts that have conditions and/or special instructions
Just like there are assets that you can include in your will, there are other things you should never feature in this document. Find out how you can create a will that effectively reflects your wishes without violating the law.