5 Things a Will Can’t Do

Estate Planning 6Practically everyone has been told at one point or another that it is important to have a Last Will and Testament in place once they are an adult. A Will offers many important benefits both for you and for your loved ones. There is really no doubt that whether you are still fairly young or you are well into your golden years, you should have a Will. That being said, however, it is also important to know that for most people, a Will isn’t enough. There are many things that a Will can’t do, which is why additional estate planning is required. This blog identifies several of the things that a Will won’t do for you so you can ensure you are prepared.

Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate

If you pass away with only a Will in place, your estate will almost certainly have to go through the probate process before it is distributed to your beneficiaries. This is a time consuming and costly experience that can be avoided by using legal trusts and other estate planning strategies. In addition, the probate court is a matter of public record, so it eliminates much of the privacy that would otherwise be possible.

Make Arrangements for the Care of a Special Needs Child

While you can leave money to a child with a Will, you properly specify how it must be used. Additionally, if your special needs child can’t care for themselves, a Will isn’t an appropriate method of leaving them assets. Using a special needs trust, you can ensure your assets are used to take care of your child, without having to leave the burden of managing the assets themselves.

Transfer Some Types of Property

A Will can transfer ownership of some types of property to a beneficiary, but not all types. For example, a Will can’t transfer ownership of a life insurance policy, retirement account, joint tenancy property, and many other types. Using more sophisticated estate planning strategies will help to ensure this type of asset is transferred according to your wishes.

Minimize Tax Burden

While estate taxes aren’t nearly as common as they once were, they are still something to be considered when planning for the future. A Will can’t help you to avoid this type of tax, but other estate planning strategies can help to accomplish this goal.

Leave Assets to Beloved Pets

It isn’t uncommon to hear people say that they want to leave their money to their beloved cat, dog, bird, or other pet. The reality is, however, that animals can’t own property, so stating this in a Will isn’t going to be valid. If you want to care for a pet after you are gone, you will have to name someone to be the caregiver, and likely set up a trust to ensure your assets are used for the care of your animal or animals.

Contact Us for Full Estate Planning Help

A Will is an important beginning to an estate plan, but it typically shouldn’t be the only thing you have in place. Please contact ProActive Legal Care to discuss your specific estate planning needs and ensure that you have everything in place.

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