Wills are simple, inexpensive ways to address many estates. But they don’t do it all. Here are some things that may not be accomplished in a will.
Named Beneficiaries for Certain Kinds of Property
A will can’t be used to leave:
- Property you held in joint tenancy with someone else. At death, the deceased’s share will automatically belong to the surviving joint tenant(s). A will provision leaving the deceased’s share to someone other than the surviving joint tenant, would have no effect unless all joint tenants died simultaneously
- Property that was transferred to a living trust
- Proceeds of a life insurance policy for which there is a named beneficiary
- Money in a pension plan, individual retirement account (IRA), 401(k) plan or other retirement plan
- Money in a payable-on-death bank account
Though most people are aware that they need a will, the majority — about 70% of us — don’t have one. People procrastinate for many reasons, but it’s important to know that writing a will doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. And once it’s done, you can rest a little easier, knowing that your wishes will be followed after your death. It is also advised to PRE-PLAN your funeral with a local funeral home of your choice. Doing so provides your wishes to be recorded and on file, in addition pre-arranged plans can be funded so your loved ones do not have to bear the burden of paying for your funeral bill.