If you are considering creating a will, you've likely spent a long time planning it out. This is completely normal. A will is your final chance to distribute your cherished belongings to your loved ones. Due to this, it's not uncommon to try to cover all the bases in this document. However, sometimes you can shoot too far! Not everything needs to be in your will. An experienced attorney practicing estate law may even suggest trimming down the document. Learn which things you can feel confident about leaving out of your will.
Many people mistakenly believe it's necessary to dictate funeral plans in a will. This is something you don't need to worry about. The funeral will need to happen way before the estate is probated. Due to this timing, it makes no sense to waste time telling relatives about your funeral wishes. It's more logical to explain your wishes to a trusted relative who will carry out your plans.
Some Insurance Proceeds
It might make sense to include insurance proceeds in a will, but it is not necessary in all cases. Insurance policies that have a designated beneficiary do not need to be included. When a beneficiary exists, the amount owed under the policy goes directly to the specified person. The inclusion of the policy in the will has no effect. The same goes for some pensions and 401(k) plans that include a beneficiary. Make sure to consider this before creating your will.
Property in Joint Tenancy
Some states allow you to hold property as a joint tenant. This type of estate will often include a right of survivorship. This means that the estate will immediately pass to the surviving joint tenant upon the death of the other. Attempting to will this type of property will not work. The law will automatically allow for the transfer once the death occurs. If you believe your property may be held in joint tenancy, consult an estate attorney before making a will.
POD Bank Accounts
Many people put a Payable on Death designation on their bank accounts. A POD bank account will have beneficiaries that will receive the funds upon the death of the owner. This account cannot pass through probate, thus it is not affected by a will. Instead, the money will be transferred by the banking institution once it receives official notice of the death. Otherwise, beneficiaries will not have access to the account while the owner remains alive. Many people use these accounts to provide relatives with immediate access to cash. Speak with an estate lawyer to learn how a POD account can benefit you.
For help with a will or probate hearings in Utah, contact Spencer and Jensen PLLC. The law firm is ready to assist you with end of life law issues.