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5 things that you should not include in your will

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

Planning your will involves more than just deciding who gets what. It is about making sure your wishes are clearly stated and legally sound. While it is important to outline your assets and beneficiaries, there are also things you should deliberately leave out.

By understanding what not to include in your will, you can streamline the process and provide clear guidance for your loved ones.

1. Debts

Avoid specifying the payment of debts directly from your will. Settlement of debts should utilize your estate’s assets, but detailing them in this document can complicate the process and delay distributions to beneficiaries.

2. Digital assets

While it is necessary to address digital assets such as social media and online accounts, it is best not to include specific login information or passwords in your will. Instead, create a separate document or utilize designated online tools for this purpose.

3. Funeral instructions

While you may want to express your funeral wishes, it is advisable not to include detailed instructions in your will. Funerals usually occur before the reading of the will, so it is better to communicate these preferences directly with loved ones or through a separate document.

4. Shared property

If you jointly own property with someone else, such as a spouse, it typically passes to the co-owner upon your death. Including it in a will could create confusion or conflicts over ownership.

5. Conditional gifts

Avoid placing conditions on gifts in your will, as they may be difficult to enforce and could lead to disputes among beneficiaries. It is better to distribute assets outright or use trusts for more complex arrangements.

When creating a will, it is important to focus on clarity and simplicity, omitting details that could cause legal challenges or confusion.