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  • What Should Not Be Included in Your Will?

    Some specific types of assets should not be included in your Will during Estate Planning. Although it might seem risky, leaving them out can benefit your family tremendously. It can also prevent legal disputes, so there’s no confusion about who should receive your property when you pass away.

    Below are the components of an Estate Plan you should consider omitting from your Will while creating or updating your Estate Plan.

    Certain Property

    You should omit some property types from your Will and incorporate them into your Estate Plan with other methods. Those methods could include:

    • Trust – A Trust is a fiduciary agreement between a Trustor and a Trustee. Often, the Trustor and Trustee are the same person: the one who creates the Trust. You can designate a Successor Trustee to manage the assets held in the Trust upon your death. They are responsible for distributing your assets to your named beneficiary according to the Trust Agreement without going through Probate. Assets commonly transferred into a Trust include real estate, financial accounts, and life insurance policies.
    • Beneficiary designations – Multiple accounts, such as bank accounts, investments, and life insurance plans, have beneficiary designations. You must complete a beneficiary designation form from your bank or financial institution. The funds remaining in the account will automatically transfer to your named beneficiary when you die.
    • Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship – You can set up a Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship for the property you own with someone else, such as a home or car. When you pass away, ownership will pass to the surviving owner without going through Probate.

    Interests in Your Business

    If you own a business, you might want to transfer it to a child or spouse upon your death. Although you can include business interests in a Will, it might not be the best decision.

    A Last Will and Testament must go through Probate. Probate is the legal process for a Probate Judge to validate a Will and authorize the distribution of assets. That means your successor business owner must put operations on hold until Probate ends.

    You can guarantee a straightforward and uninterrupted transition upon your death by leaving your business elsewhere in your Estate Plan. Consider establishing a Revocable Living Trust for your business or setting up a Joint Tenancy with a Right of Survivorship.

    Beneficiary with Special Needs

    A Will cannot adequately address ongoing care for a child or another dependent with special needs. Establishing a Special Needs Trust can ensure the proper transfer of assets to your named beneficiary without risking their eligibility for government assistance. Your special needs family member can use the assets held in the Trust to cover necessary expenses. The assets in the Trust will bypass Probate.

    Bank Accounts

    You can add a Payable on Death (POD) designation to a bank account if you want the funds to be distributed to a specific person. You have control of the funds while you’re alive. Your POD beneficiary can’t access the account until you die.

    Brokerage Accounts

    Brokerage accounts, such as bonds and stocks, can include a Transfer on Death (TOD) designation. You must name a beneficiary on a TOD form to bypass Probate and allow the funds to transfer automatically after you pass away.

    Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today

    Your goal is to protect your assets by establishing an Estate Plan. You want to ensure your loved ones are cared for when you’re gone. Anchor Legal Group, PLLC can protect your interests and your family’s future.

    Call (757) 529-0000 or contact us online for a consultation in Virginia Beach, VA, to discuss the assets you shouldn’t include in your will.