Inappropriate Uses Of A Will

Wills have a well-earned reputation for ensuring that your loved ones are provided for after you've passed on, but many people get a bit confused about exactly what should and should not go into a will. Some issues are better dealt with using alternate means, so read on to learn more about some things that signal the inappropriate use of a will.

Burial Instructions

Most people just naturally include their plans for their funeral, memorial service, and burial wishes in their last will and testament, but that sometimes creates problems for the loved ones left behind. If a will cannot be located soon enough, the wishes may go unheeded. For example, if the will is accessible only by contacting the estate attorney or accessing a bank's safe deposit box, burial plans may have to be postponed until after a weekend or holiday period.

Instead, leave your burial and funeral instructions in an easy-to-locate place, or provide a copy of your wishes directly to a loved one or personal representative. Furthermore, more and more people are planning and funding their own funeral and burial plans while they are still alive. If you do so, be sure to leave the information about your plans with a loved one.

A Bequest With a Condition

Be cautious when leaving things behind with a condition. For example, you may want to ensure that your grandchild attends a certain university, so you leave them funds with the express instructions that they attend your alma mater with that money. While your intent may be sound, it may not be entirely legal. Speak with your attorney and be very careful when leaving conditional bequests in your will to ensure that you are not invalidating the will with your bequest. You should also consider the burden you could be placing on a friend or loved one through that conditional bequest.

Leaving Property to Property

You would not be alone if you consider your pet a part of your family, but unfortunately the law sees pets differently. Pets cannot own property, so don't try to leave anything to your beloved fur baby, no matter how devoted you are. Instead, consider appointing a guardian for your pet after your death and leave that guardian enough funds to care for your pet's needs.

To learn more about what should and should not be included in a will, speak with a probate attorney, such as Patricia K Wood Atty.