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ANNOUNCEMENT: We are dedicated to your legal needs and available during this difficult time. In order to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we are offering virtual consultations for both new and existing clients upon request. Click HERE to contact us and request a consultation by video, telephone or in person.

What estate items does a will not cover?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Having a will is a good foundation in your estate plan, but it cannot handle everything you may need. According to the American Bar Association, your will distributes your possessions and communicates your wishes.

But there are a few things it cannot do.

Transferring

In most cases, if you have an asset with a named beneficiary or that has a title, the will has no effect on these. For beneficiary accounts, the naming of the beneficiary means it passes upon your death to that person. For titled assets, the receiver will have to go through a legal process to get the title in his or her name.

Another important thing a will cannot transfer is a loan. You secure a loan yourself through a legal agreement between you and the lender. That terminates upon your death. If someone else wishes to assume the loan, then they will need to go through the lender to do that.

Disinheriting

While you certainly can leave someone out of a will, you need to be cautious about doing it. Leaving out an heir, such as a child or spouse, may come with legal issues during probate. You must make sure your will is written properly and that you understand the legal implications. Sometimes, you need additional documents to ensure there is no confusion.

While your will is a great start, your estate will likely need additional items to ensure everything goes smoothly during the probate process. You want to be sure everything is within the limits of the law and not expect your will to do things it legally cannot.