What Can You Include and Not Include in Your Will?

What Can You Include and Not Include in Your Will?

October 17, 2022

A will is a complicated thing. Most people do not think about what they need to add or what they cannot add until it is too late. Knowing what you can add to your will and what should be left out can help you craft one that will be comprehensive and whole.

Items To Include in Your Will

The first thing that you certainly need to include in your will is a division of assets. This means you need to list off your assets and what you have, including homes, property, items inside your home, vehicles, and money, and then you need to list out either who you want to have those items or what sort of division you want.

If you are not trying to give specific items to specific people, it is helpful to list how you want the value of the assets or the value of the estate split up. A great way to think about this is with an example. Say you have a spouse and two children. If you do not make a will and you then leave the estate to be handled after the probate period, for the most part, the estate is going to be split in half with your spouse and your children, and then your children will split their half in half so each of them will get one-fourth of the estate or the value of the estate.

Suppose you have other arrangements that you want to take care of. In that case, they should be listed in the will so that your attorney and the attorney representing the estate, and the people that are left can clearly see how the assets are to be divided and how they are to be taken care of. There are a few things you cannot put into a will that relate to the people left behind.

First, you cannot put any conditions that include marriage, divorce, or that a person changes their religion. The only thing you can list is conditions about what happens with the belongings that you leave behind. You can also state what happens to your pets if you have someone that wants to take them after you pass.

Creating a Will

When creating a will, it is always best to speak with your attorney and sit down and hammer out the details. An estate attorney will be able to clearly and concisely create a will that will work for you and your estate. They will also be able to help carry out those wishes after you pass.

A good estate attorney will be able to help ensure all your t’s are crossed, and all your i’s dotted so that the estate can move forward and your family can work to move forward after your passing. Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult, but it is so much easier to handle when there is a will in place to guide things along.  

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