What Your Will Cannot Do
If you’re like most people, you’re surprised and somewhat confused by our title,
“What Your Will Cannot Do.” Why do you need to know what your will cannot
do? Your estate plan and family depend upon what your will can (and cannot) do.
You need to understand the difference to make good choices.
If you have questions about your will, consult with a qualified estate planning
attorney. And, by the way, even though there are a lot of things a will cannot do,
every adult needs his or her own will because of all the things a will can do.
A will cannot control jointly owned property
No will controls jointly owned property. And this is surprising to most people
because most married couples own virtually all of their property jointly: homes,
businesses, investment real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts.
Upon the death of the first joint owner to die, the property automatically passes by
operation of law to the surviving owner(s.) Survivorship is a joint ownership
A will cannot control beneficiary designation property
Retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities all have beneficiary
designations. When the owner or insured dies, the assets are automatically
inherited by the named beneficiary.
A will cannot control POD/TOD property
Payable on death or transfer on death property works like beneficiary designation
property. It passes by contract law to the named beneficiary. Bank accounts and
investment accounts often use the POD/TOD feature.
A will cannot control ITF property
Property such as a bank account held in trust for another person is not controlled
by your will. When the account owner dies, the property passes to the named
A will cannot help you during your lifetime
In addition, your will has absolutely no effect during your lifetime; therefore, it
Authorize guardians to take care of your children if you are disabled
Be used to make medical decisions for you
Authorize access into your safe deposit box
Keep you out of court
If you have questions about what your will does and does not control, consult with
a qualified estate planning attorney.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Sarasota FL of the Co-Executor PLLC
offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Sarasota FL.
To learn more about these free resources, please visit www.co-executor.com today.