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What assets cannot be included in one's will?

No one in Colorado Springs truly wants to think of their eventual death. However, death is a certainty no matter what a person's age or wealth. Therefore, it is important to plan for what happens to your assets after you die. Many people choose to accomplish this goal by executing a will. However, they should keep in mind that certain assets cannot be disposed of in a will.

Only assets that are solely owned by you and that do not have a beneficiary designation can be included in a will. Some assets are held in joint tenancy, meaning they have more than one owner. For example, a spouse and their partner may jointly own a home, automobiles or other assets as joint tenants. When one joint tenant dies, the asset will automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant.

Similarly, assets that name beneficiaries cannot be disposed of in a will. For example, life insurance policies and certain retirement plans may require the policyholder to name a beneficiary. When the policyholder passes away, the beneficiary receives the proceeds of the policy. A benefit to these types of assets is that, while they cannot be disposed of in a will, they will bypass the probate process.

So, when drafting a will, it is important to take a complete inventory of all of your assets. That way, you can determine what can be included in your will and what cannot. Keep in mind that, while this may seem straight-forward, many assets can be complex. If a person is dealing with complex assets or a valuable estate, they may benefit from seeking professional guidance before executing a will to ensure that it meets their wishes and will be legally enforceable.

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Schroer & Williams Law Offices, PLLC
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