People draft wills for one main reason: to articulate what they want to happen to their hard-earned assets when they die. And if you get it right, a will can give you peace of mind knowing that your estate will pass down to the people and causes you care about and that your legacy will be safeguarded.
However, not everything in your name belongs in your will. Here are three assets that you’d rather not include in your Florida will.
1. Jointly-owned property
You cannot include any property that you co-own with another person in a will. This is especially true if such property is held as joint ownership with the right of survivorship. Such property automatically passes down to the surviving party upon your passing. For instance, if you co-own real estate with your sibling, they will automatically gain full ownership of the property in question should you die.
2. Any property that is held in a trust
Just like the will, you can use a trust to distribute your assets. However, trusts are governed by the trust’s instrument – a set of instructions that define how the trust will be managed. Any property you place in a trust is, thus, subject to the terms of the trust instrument. To avoid inconsistencies or conflicts, it is better that you do not include any asset that is already held in the trust in your will.
3. Property with named beneficiaries
Certain financial accounts are usually directly payable to the named beneficiaries on death. This makes the inclusion of such assets in your will unnecessary. In fact, doing so can cause problems if you are inconsistent. Such assets include retirement accounts, bank accounts, pension plans as well as some investment accounts.
Safeguarding your interests
A will is the foundation of any estate planning process. Learning more about Florida estate planning laws can help you understand what you can (and cannot) include in your will.