Your will is critical in allowing you to retain a measure of control over your estate assets in death. For example, it empowers you to name who will receive your money, property, and personal items after you leave the world.
You can address many of your assets in a will, but some things do not belong in this document. Below are four examples to consider:
Unborn beneficiary bequests
Perhaps you want to be proactive by arranging inheritances for your future grandchildren or nieces and nephews in advance. Although it sounds like a wise decision, there could be problems with your will if it names beneficiaries that do not yet exist when you pass away.
Assets held in trust
Like many, you may decide to use trusts to transfer your assets to loved ones when you die. Once you place any property in a trust, do not address the same assets in your will. Doing so may create confusion and interfere with the timely administration of your estate.
Life insurance and retirement proceeds
If you have named beneficiaries for your life insurance policy and retirement plans, there is no need to reiterate your designations in a will. These disbursements will occur automatically after your death. Including them in your will may only complicate things for your family and estate executor.
You may believe your animal friends are part of the family, but the law says they are property and cannot inherit your money. Instead of naming your animals as beneficiaries, designate a caretaker in a will or trust and leave them the assets you want your pets to have.
Speaking with someone who understands Tennessee estate laws can help you avoid these and other missteps when creating your estate plan.