An estate plan can include a variety of legal documents that document your wishes while you are living and after you have passed away. One of the most important documents to include in your estate plan is a will. 

A will is a great way to protect your wishes and make sure your assets are passed on to your loved ones. A will can also state who should take care of you minor children if you pass away. Having a will is an essential part of any estate plan. Many people may think that they can put anything in their will but that isn’t always the case. 

When creating your will, you should be aware of what not to include in the document as well as what to include. There are several things you should not put in your will but what are some of the most common things individuals think they should put in their will that they really should avoid?

Your funeral plans are very important. However, they should not be included in your will. Your will can only address what to do with property you owned, not what to do with your body. You can discuss your funeral and burial plans with the executor of your estate to make sure your wishes are honored. 

Life insurance and retirement funds are very important and can help take care of your loved ones. These accounts cannot be distributed through your will as they already have designated beneficiaries within the plan. It is very important to make sure these beneficiaries are up-to-date and accurate to make sure they go to the correct person. 

It is also not advised to include jointly held property in your will. After you pass away, the property will go to the survivor so there is no reason to include any jointly held property in your will if the survivor is still alive. 

There are several other things you should not include in your will. Understanding what to put in your will can be complicated but understanding what not to put in your will can make the process easier for your loved ones after you pass away. 

Source: FindLaw, “5 Things Your Shouldn’t Include in Your Will,” Brett Snider, Nov. 13, 2013

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