A will is a key document of any estate plan and if you don’t have one, we highly encourage you to create your own will as soon as possible. However, wills also come with some significant limitations of which many people not aware of. These limitations can easily trigger unintended consequences and derail your legacy plans.
Major Issues with Wills
A Will Does Not Avoid Probate
In fact, a will guarantees you will have a probate administration at your death.
Wills Become Public on Death
Since wills trigger a probate process and probate is a public process, anyone can see what your assets are. Moreover, people can read your will, see your beneficiaries, and know who is getting what. Think of various thugs who prey on widows because of the easy access to this information.
Wills Are Effective Only on Death
Since wills are read only on death, this means that wills don’t allow any planning at all while you are still alive and say become incapacitated. That’s why you need to have a financial power of attorney and a health care proxy in addition to the will as a part of your estate plan.
Wills Do Not Control the Distribution of All Your Assets
A will only controls assets titled in your name. Many people falsely believe that if they put a certain asset in the will, this asset will be distributed in accordance with their wish. But that’s not always the case and the reason why it is essential to know how your accounts are titled, which documents control where your assets go and update them periodically.
Having a will is crucial for estate planning, but it's also important to understand its limitations. If you have any questions for us, would like us to review your estate documents, discuss your estate strategy, or connect to an estate planning attorney, feel free to schedule a free consultation at any time.