4 things that should not go in a will

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

A will serves as a blueprint for distributing your estate and providing guidance for your family. However, including certain items can muddy its purpose or even render it ineffective.

Understanding what to leave out of your will is just as important as knowing what to include in it.

1. Funeral instructions

Wills are typically read days or even weeks after a person’s passing, making them an impractical place for immediate funeral instructions. Instead, discuss your funeral arrangements with your loved ones directly or leave these instructions in a separate document that can be easily accessed when needed.

2. Jointly owned property

Including jointly owned property in your will can lead to confusion and legal complexities. Assets held jointly typically pass directly to the surviving owner(s) outside of the probate process. Attempting to dictate the distribution of jointly owned property may not be legally effective and could cause disputes among heirs.

3. Conditions on inheritances

While it is understandable to want to incentivize certain behaviors or accomplishments among your heirs, imposing conditions on inheritances in your will can sometimes create more problems than solutions. Conditions that are overly restrictive or difficult to enforce may lead to resentment and legal battles among beneficiaries.

4. Digital assets

In today’s digital age, it is important to plan for what will happen to your online accounts and digital assets after your passing. However, including passwords and login information in your will can pose security risks. Instead, create a separate document or use a digital asset planning service to manage your digital estate securely.

By being aware of what not to put in your will, you can ensure that your final wishes get carried out smoothly.