While there are some important things your will can do, there are also some things you can’t do with your will. It’s important you know what these are so when you’re creating the document, you do it correctly. When planning your estate, keep in mind these four things your will can’t do.
Outline Funeral and Burial Plans
In many cases, nobody is going to see your will until after your funeral and burial have taken place. Don’t keep those plans in your will. There is a separate document you can use, which you can leave with the funeral home, a trusted family member, or someone else who will know what to do with it in the days after your passing.
Leave Property to a Pet
Legally, a pet can’t own property, so you can’t leave any to your cat or dog. If you choose not to pay heed to this recommendation, realize your wishes will not be met. If you’re worried about your pet’s wellbeing, there are some things you can do. For example, you can name someone in your will to care for your pet. You can then leave money to that person so he or she has the funds required to provide everything your pet needs. You could also set up a pet protection agreement trust to ensure the money goes to the right person for the right reason.
Leave Care Instructions and Funds for a Special Needs Individual
If you’re the caretaker of someone with special needs, it’s understandable you’ll want to ensure he or she has the funds and resources to be taken care of when you pass away. Your will is not the way to go about leaving care instructions and funds, however. Instead, you can put together a special needs trust. This will hold the money for your loved one, but no government benefits will be affected.
Transfer Some Property
You can leave property to beneficiaries in a will, but not all property can be transferred this way. For example, if you have joint ownership of a property, you can’t leave it to someone else. You also can’t transfer TOD accounts, retirement accounts, or life insurance policies. These items have their own documents that name beneficiaries.
Getting a Will Made