According to a survey, almost 60% of Americans do not have a will or an estate plan. Considering more than half of the entire population does not have an estate plan, it is even more important to make people aware of its importance.
The older you get, the more important it becomes to create an estate plan. The idea is to ensure that in case of your death, the people and assets you are leaving behind will be taken care of according to your will.
Your last will lays the foundation for your estate planning, and there are certain things you want to omit from the document entirely.
The following are some things you might not want to include in your last will to save your loved ones the confusion and hassle it may create, and smoothly carry out the articles of your will.
In a will, you have to be specific about who you are giving away your asset(s) to, but attaching a condition to it may not work as you want. For example, you want your sister to receive your cottage but only if she uses it as a vacation home and not if she decides to live in it is very obscure content for a will. Besides, enforcing these terms on someone, especially depending on how the circumstances play out, is difficult. Instead, if you would rather have someone really use your inheritance the way you want, consider opening a trust that gives you more control over your possessions even after you bid farewell to the world.
Insurance, Partnerships, and Joint Accounts
Unless your insurances are a part of your estate as stated by you in your estate plan, there is no point in adding insurance to your will. Life insurance will automatically get paid off to the beneficiary upon your death. Any joint accounts function similarly as the funds are settled by going towards the surviving account holder. Moreover, in a partnership, you require your partner’s consent before transferring your share of the business to someone else. So that should be settled outside the will and estate planning.
Digital assets like social media accounts, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc., are unique in their nature. Therefore, you would be required to make special arrangements outside of your will to designate who gets the authority of those accounts after your death and how they should be managed. Also, not to forget that passing on certain digital assets might not be a good idea at all, given how private and personal these things might be. So you may want to read the terms of service for the company’s specific guidelines for managing an account after the owner’s death. Moreover, certain accounts may not even allow a legal passing on of the account to a different owner as you don’t own the asset per se but merely carry a license to use it.
REMEMBER: Never include any account numbers, usernames or passwords, or any credentials associating with your private life in your will, as they may potentially become public after your death and can be easily misused by others.
Hopefully, having gone through the list of things you should never include in your will have given you an idea of what is more important to add than not. However, it is a best practice to always consult with an experienced estate planning professional like the ones we have at Welch Law Firm.
We understand that planning for your eventual passing is not a top priority for most people but dealing with legal matters in a time of grief is frustrating and difficult. So to schedule a free consultation with an Omaha estate planning and probate attorney from Welch Law Firm, contact us today.