Making a will can seem like a very big deal. It’s always seen as the moment of truth after somebody passes away in a movie or television show. In such dramatizations, relatives may gather to hear the reading of the will, and they may have expectations of the treasures left to them by the dearly departed. However, in real life, the reading of a will is typically a much simpler procedure as most people are not leaving behind a great deal of money, but they do want to make sure that their assets are passed on to the people of their choice. The process can get confusing. As you start to consider and plan for your own will, here are three things that you don’t have to worry about including in the will.
#1: Don’t Include Insurance Policies
When you buy a life insurance policy and fill out all the necessary paperwork that’s associated with it, you designate who should receive the proceeds. It is very clear by the nature of the purchase of a policy, so there should be no mistaking who the beneficiary is. If you change your mind at any time, simply contact the insurance company, and you should be able to change the beneficiary right away. Be sure to notify your loved ones and lawyer about the changes that you do make to your insurance policies.
#2: Don’t Include Property with a Co-Owner
If you are the co-owner of a home or commercial building, you likely do not need to include it in your will. As long as you have a right of survivorship with the property, your part of the property will be automatically passed on the other co-owner in the event of your passing. Even if you name someone else in the will, that would have no impact on the ownership unless there is a special circumstance. If in doubt, ask your lawyer if that should be included in your will.
#3: Don’t Include Your Retirement Plan
When you create your retirement plan, you should also fill out forms that designate who the beneficiary of that retirement plan would be if you pass away. This is often a spouse, but it can be whoever you want. You will be given the chance to fill out that paperwork for a beneficiary upon the creation of the account and should be able to change that at any time.
Finally, keep in mind that your will should be completed with the help of an estate planning attorney. Wills can be complicated, and the laws can vary from state to state. Be sure to discuss all questions and concerns about the will with your lawyer. When in doubt, ask if you should include something to ensure that your final wishes will be carried out in the way that you want them to be. That will ensure that your closest loved ones are protected someday, which can be perceived as a final act of love for them.