If you have not started preparing your will, it is past time to do so. By having a will in place, should you pass away, you will maintain control over what happens to your estate. For example, if you have a preference in regard to how your beneficiaries divide your property in Atlanta, you should put it in writing. If you do not, a Georgia probate court will make the decision for you.
While you might be tempted to leave very detailed and precise instructions for every single asset and property you own, there are some things you should not include in your will.
Kinds of property
There is certain property that you cannot list in your will. For example, joint tenancy property, life insurance proceeds and property already in a living trust cannot be in your will. The reason for this is that these various kinds of property are independent from a will. For example, if your wife is listed as the sole beneficiary on your life insurance policy, you cannot leave the policy’s proceeds to your oldest child. Instead, you would have to change the beneficiary information on the policy itself.
Your will is not the place to leave funeral instructions. In general, funerals occur long before the settling of an estate, so it could be weeks or months after your death before your family receives your instructions. Instead, write out your funeral instructions separately and give them to a relative or friend whom you trust.
Care requirements for a special needs person
If you have a special needs beneficiary, do not include care instructions in the will. Set up a special needs trust that addresses your loved one’s needs.
Gifts to Fluffy
While you may have heard stories about wealthy people leaving all of their money and worldly possessions to their pets, do not do this. Your pet does not have a legal standing to own property. Instead, choose a caretaker for your beloved companion and leave that individual enough to properly care for your pet.
Estate planning is an extremely important process that you should not put off. Take the time to work out how you want someone to manage your estate and make it official sooner rather than later.