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What information shouldn't be part of a will?

Creating a will as part of an estate plan can be a daunting task for many individuals. That's why many rely on estate planning professionals to help them put together a solid will that takes care of all of their needs. But, it's important to remember that while a will should be as thorough as possible, there is some information that shouldn't be included in it. But exactly what information shouldn't be included in a will?

It's important for the testator to not include special types of property in a will. The reason for this is that these properties have specific rules for beneficiaries, and therefore cannot be included in a person's will. Properties that fall into this category include properties that are part of a living trust and joint tenancy property.

One of the most important things to avoid putting in a will is any specific instructions for the testator's funeral. This is because a will is not read until after a person's funeral. Therefore, any specific instructions that the deceased would have wanted wouldn't be known by the testator's family. So if someone has some special requirements that they would like to have at their funeral, it would be better to draw these up plans separately and make sure that the executor of their estate is aware of these plans.

Additional items that shouldn't be included in a will are the proceeds from a retirement plan, the proceeds from a life insurance policy that has a named beneficiary and stocks and bonds that have a named beneficiary. Since these accounts have already identified an individual who will inherit them when the testator dies, they must be accounted for separately.

Individuals also shouldn't leave gifts of property to their beloved pet in a will since animals cannot legally own property. However, any Florida individual who is interested in developing their own will may want to speak to an estate planning attorney in order to learn about other information that shouldn't be part of a testator's will.

Source: estate.findlaw.com, "What not to include when making a will", August 28, 2016

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