Most people understand the importance of creating a will. Better still, most people know the process of creating a will. However, it is not uncommon to ask what you should include in your will and what you shouldn’t.
Well, you might be surprised to learn that not all assets belong in your will. Here are three kinds of assets that you should never include in your California will:
Assets that have named beneficiaries
Some assets are transferable or payable upon death. Such assets are directly paid out to named beneficiaries, which make having them in your will totally unnecessary (or even irksome should there be inconsistencies). Examples of directly transferable assets include investment accounts, bank accounts, life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
However, you can include information regarding these assets in your letter of instruction.
Assets that you co-own with someone else
Most often, properties that you co-own with other parties will pass down to them upon your passing. An example would be a situation where you co-own a brokerage account with your sibling. Should you die, your sibling will continue owning the account as well as the investments therein. This arrangement is known as joint ownership with the right of survivorship.
Also, community properties (those that are acquired during the marriage) do not have to be included in the will. This is because such properties automatically pass down to your spouse if you die.
While you may include your business interests in your will, there are a few compelling reasons why you should not. Wills must go through probate. Including business interests in your will may make for a bumpy transition upon your death.
Done right, a will can give you peace of mind knowing that your legacy and loved ones’ futures are safeguarded. Find out how you can create a will that will stand the test of time and probate.