Your Will Does Not Address Everything

It is a common misconception that a last will and testament is the only document that a person, called a testator, needs in order to give proper instructions for the management of his or her estate after death. There are a number of reasons for which wills are necessary, including the transfer of property and finances. However, there are some important things that your will does not cover or that should not be included in your will.

Funeral Instructions Should Not be in Your Will

While it would certainly seem to make sense to insert your funeral instructions in your will, keep in mind that a will is often not found immediately following a person’s death. If an executor (the person named to manage the affairs of an individual after he or she passes away) cannot find the will in time, then specific wishes for funeral proceedings may be lost. Instead, write out funeral instructions as a separate document and inform your executor of its location.

Concurrent Estates Cannot be Transferred in a Will

If you co-own an estate with another person (referred to as “joint tenancy”), you cannot leave your part of the estate to a benefactor. According to property law, upon a joint tenant’s death, his or her part is automatically transferred to the other tenant. This law exists to minimize the possibility for disputes over concurrent estates.

You Cannot Transfer Assets to Pets

Naturally, you will want to arrange for the care of your pets in a will. However, since a pet cannot own property, you cannot transfer any assets to them. Instead, you will want to explain what you want to be done with the pets, and you may even consider leaving money for the beneficiary appointed to their care.

A Will Cannot Help You Avoid Probate

After an individual dies, the decisions regarding his or her assets will go to probate court. Here they will read the will and decide if it is legitimate. However, even when it is approved, the process can still often be long and drawn out. While a will gives you control over who will receive your assets, and often makes the process easier for family, it will not make the process free of hassle, unfortunately.

Get Legal Assistance

You will want to consider hiring a lawyer with experience in drawing up wills. It is very important that a will be thorough and clear. and it can be difficult to be sure that it is going to do everything you plan for it to do. You can receive help by contacting Andrew M. Lamkin to discuss your will. You can reach our offices at 516-615-0625 and we will be happy to provide you with an initial consultation, free of charge.

Like us on facebook