The primary estate planning document – the will – can do many things to give you peace of mind. You can use this legal instrument to provide for your loved ones after you die. Your final will can also ensure care for your minor children through the appointment of a guardian.
However, a will has its limits. When planning your estate, it is wise to find out what you cannot (and should not) do with your will. The estate planning knowledge you gain now ensures the preservation of your final wishes in the future.
What you cannot do with a will
The final will a person leaves behind helps dictate who receives a share of your assets. It also allows you to name an estate executor or administrator. Contrary to common belief, you cannot do the following with your will:
- Override beneficiary designations in your insurance policies or retirement accounts
- Leave your money or belongings to pets
- Ensure that your family avoids the Denver, Colorado probate process
To accomplish the goals above, you need additional estate planning tools. A revocable living trust can help your family avoid or minimize probate. You can address your pets by naming someone to take care of them in your estate plan. Regarding beneficiary designations, always remember to review your account designations periodically to ensure they match the contents of your will.
What you should not do with your will
Many people try to use a will to make others do what they want. For example, they might add a condition specifying that their daughter must get married before accessing her inheritance. Provisions or conditions like these may infringe upon the freedoms all Americans enjoy, sometimes resulting in legal concerns.
If you are new to estate planning and need guidance, consider learning more about Colorado wills and trusts from a reputable source.