What NOT to include in your will

There is a lot of talk around the importance of writing a will to ensure that your money, property, and other assets are bequeathed to the family members or children that you wish to nominate as beneficiaries of your estate.

However, did you know that there are certain types of financial assets and property that you should not or cannot include in your will?

These types of assets are usually jointly owned or contain some sort of instruction that dictates what happens to the property should you die.

The items that you will be unable to include in your will are:

Property in a living trust

This property is usually set up to name a beneficiary and avoid probate proceedings. Attempting to leave property in your will that already has a beneficiary is negated by the trust. The property will pass to the named beneficiary of the trust and this cannot be changed using your will.

Property under a joint tenancy

Any property that is owned under a joint tenancy agreement is designed to pass to the other owner in the event of one owner dying. This is a right to survivorship and will stand regardless of any alternate instructions made by your will.

Insurance policies already in trust

Policies included in a trust will be held for the beneficiaries specified at the time the policy was taken out. As such the policy does not form part of the estate and will automatically be transferred to the named beneficiaries on the death of the policy owner.

Property that you do not own

Any property that is subject to a lease or hire purchase agreement, or that is for use only during your lifetime cannot be passed on to another person. If the property is not owned by you legally, on your death it will revert to the company or original owner.

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