What to Exclude in Your Will | What You Should Know

If you are unsure about what to exclude in your will, reach out to our Woodland Hills will attorney today.

What should I exclude in my will?

Take note of the following elements that you should not include in your will:

1. Trust property. A trust is a different method that can be used to distribute your assets. A trust processes things on its own, which is why it is essential that you evade inconsistencies and do not put anything in your will that the trust will handle and distribute on its own. Trusts are a typical estate planning option that avoids probate. When you title property into the trust, it becomes subject to the trust’s rules, which are stated in the trust document rather than the will.

2. Assets with named beneficiaries. Some assets and financial accounts are payable or transferable on death. They are assigned or paid out immediately to the named beneficiaries, which indicates that it is not necessary to include this in your will. You can, however, include information about these assets in your letter of instruction.

Instead of putting these assets in your will, present them beneficiary designations instead:

  • Bank accounts
  • Brokerage or investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts and pension plans
  • A life insurance policy

3. Jointly-owned property. Property that is jointly owned with another person will almost always immediately pass to the co-owner after you pass away, which is why you should not put this in your will. For example, if you and your sibling own stocks in a jointly owned brokerage account, then they will resume owning the account and its investments after you pass away. This arrangement is referred to as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

4. Conditional gifts and bequests. In a will, you can be precise about who receives what, but, if you include certain conditions, it may not work since no one can legally enforce the terms which is why you should leave these kinds of wishes out when writing a will. If you have clear details about how someone should use their inheritance, whether they are a spendthrift or someone with special needs, you should open a trust that can provide you more control over your beneficiaries, even after you pass away.

Do not wait to reach out to our firm if you would like to learn more about what you should leave out of your will. Our legal team is on your side. Speak with a Woodland Hills, California estate planning attorney today.

Contact our Firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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