What should you leave out of your will?

What should you leave out of your will?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2019 | Wills And Trusts |

As you plan which of your beneficiaries will receive your assets in your Louisiana will, keep in mind that this particular estate planning tool is not designed to include everything you own. In fact, your will is a limited tool, although it is probably a necessary one.

According to FindLaw, if you have retirement accounts, you probably named a beneficiary when you set them up. So, for example, you cannot say in your will that you are leaving your IRA or 401(k) to your brother when you have named your son as the beneficiary on the account. It is the same for payable-on-death bank accounts. These require a beneficiary, and they transfer immediately to that person when you die. The good thing about accounts that require a beneficiary is that the assets do not become part of your estate at your death, so there is no delay for the transfer. You do not have to mention your life insurance policy in your will, as that plan also requires a named beneficiary.

Assets that you transfer to a trust also do not go in your will. These assets belong to the trust and not to your estate, and the trustee takes care of the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries you name in the instructions you provide. 

After you determine which assets are accounted for through other methods of transfer, you can decide what you want to include in your will. There are many other estate planning tools that may fit your specific circumstances; therefore, this information should not be interpreted as legal advice.