Things a will cannot do

by | Dec 11, 2018 | Firm News |

At the end of the day, you cannot afford to delay writing your will. Approximately 64 percent of Americans still lacked a will as of 2015. In the event you pass away without such a document, then your loved ones may not get the assets you want them to have. 

There are numerous types of estate planning documents, and that is for good reason. While most Americans are familiar with wills, there are additional documents, such as trusts, you need to consider. There are specific things wills cannot accomplish, so you need to review all your options to ensure every asset you own has coverage. 

Funeral instructions

Everyone associates a will with the end of life. Therefore, it makes initial sense that people would include what they want to happen at the funerals within the will. However, legal professionals do not recommend doing that. Settling the estate typically occurs after the funeral, so the family may not even see the will until after that time. You should have a separate document detailing what funeral arrangements you want and make sure your loved ones know where to find it. 

Escaping estate taxes

It is natural to want your loved ones to pay as little in taxes as possible when they receive their assets. This can be difficult to achieve with a will. Instead, you will want to look into a trust. The reason for this is that property goes into the trust account rather than to the individual, so it is not subject to the same taxes. 

Leaving gifts to pets

It has become increasingly common for people to leave assets to their pets in their wills. However, any legal professional will tell you to avoid doing this. The reason for this is that pets do not have any legal capacity of their own. Instead, people should leave assets for the pets to a person who will make sure the pet receives love and care.