On June 15, 2015

Wills can be very powerful estate planning documents that can set terms for powers of attorney, asset distribution and even the care for orphaned minor children.

Despite this, however, there are some things that wills are NOT able to do, and understanding the limitations of wills can be crucial to knowing when you may need to take further estate planning steps for you and your family.

Limitations of Wills: Here’s What You Should Know

1 – Wills can’t dictate how certain property is distributed upon a death.

Although wills are powerful estate planning documents, they do have some limitations, a Denver will attorney points out. Contact us for help with any of your estate planning needs.

Although wills are powerful estate planning documents, they do have some limitations, a Denver will attorney points out. Contact us for help with any of your estate planning needs.

In fact, while wills can detail how the assets that you own solely are to be distributed upon your passing, they cannot stipulate how the following property is handled:

  • Property co-owned with someone else (i.e., jointly owned property)
  • Property that is held in a living trust
  • Life insurance proceeds (as they already have designated beneficiaries)
  • Stocks, bonds and other property with transfer-on-death (TOD) designations.

2 – Wills won’t get your loved ones out of paying estate taxes.

Although a will can be devised to set up trusts and other tools that can help reduce future estate tax obligations, they typically cannot help people get out of having to pay these taxes altogether.

3 – Wills can’t put certain conditions on inheritance.

For instance, a will cannot specifically state that a beneficiary has to change his religion or marry/divorce a specific person in order to receive a certain inheritance. To a lesser degree, however, there may be ways of setting up conditions for inheritance. For example, certain funds may be earmarked for a child if or when that child pursues a higher education.

4 – Wills can’t leave assets for illegal uses.

This is fairly self-explanatory but is, nevertheless, important to point out. The inheritance designations outlined in a will cannot be associated with illegal activities.

The bottom line is that, while wills can be powerful, they do have limitations, and working with an experienced will lawyer can be essential to ensuring that you develop the right will – and overall estate plan – for you and your family.

Denver Will Attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Are you ready to develop or update a will? Or do you need help with any other estate planning or probate matters? If so, it is time to contact on an experienced Denver will attorney at JR Phillips & Associates, PC.

Our lawyers provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them. This means that, when you turn to us for estate planning help, you can count on us to provide you with:

  • Personalized attention at every step of the process
  • Competent, caring and professional legal services
  • The right estate planning tools and solutions for you.

 

Categories: Estate Planning