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A Last Will and Testament can help you establish many designations and requests for when you have passed on. But, on the flip side, there are also many things that cannot be included in this document. Follow along to find out what you cannot declare in your Will and how a proficient Washtenaw County Wills attorney at Collis, Griffor & Hendra can walk you through this.

What cannot be included in my Will?

Firstly, you cannot designate your trust property through your Will. This is because a trust is a different means by which you can distribute your property. So, when you title your property into your trust, it becomes a part of your trust’s rules. With that being said, your Will should not include terms that your trust will already handle.

Secondly, you cannot designate your assets with named beneficiaries through your Will. This is because some assets and financial accounts are assigned or paid out immediately to your named beneficiaries when you have passed on. Meaning, you will not need to include them in your Will, but you can include information about these assets in your letter of instruction. Such assets include bank accounts, brokerage or investment accounts, retirement accounts, pension plans, and life insurance policies.

Next, you cannot designate jointly-owned property that you share with another individual through your Will. This is because it will likely immediately pass to the co-owner when you have passed on. Commonly, this is referred to as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

And lastly, you cannot designate conditional gifts and bequests through your Will. This is because, if you attach certain conditions, no one can legally enforce the terms. In the unique circumstance that you are leaving your inheritance with an individual with special needs and they require clear instructions, then you should open a trust. With this, you will have more control over your beneficiaries, even when you have passed on.

How can an attorney help me create my Will?

As you can probably tell, there are very specific rules as to what you can and cannot include in your Will. And it is important that you only include what is considered legal and valid in your Will, or else it will undergo the intestate process and your property may not be distributed as you would have desired.

So, one of the best estate planning decisions that you can make is hiring a talented Washtenaw County estate planning attorney. We will not only assist you with your Will but with all your other estate planning documents. We anticipate your phone call.

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