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What things can’t you include in a will?

When creating a will, there are many decisions to make. Most importantly, you need to know what you can include and what you have to leave out. In short, your goal is to tell your loved ones what your wishes are in regards to your assets and property.

Unfortunately, there are some items you should not or cannot include in your will. These include but are not necessarily limited to:

-- Joint tenancy property. You should not include this in your will, because the law states that it will pass directly to your joint tenant once you pass on.

-- Property that is part of a living trust.

-- Life insurance death benefit with a beneficiary.

-- Retirement plan proceeds. You are able to choose a beneficiary, so you don't have to include it in your will.

-- Stocks and bonds that are being held in beneficiary. Once again, just the same as life insurance and retirement accounts, you have named a beneficiary.

When creating a will, you need to know what you should include, what you should leave out and how to make decisions that will make life as easy as possible on your loved ones once you pass away.

Creating a will is a big part of the estate planning process, but this is not the only thing you need to do. You should consider other options, such as a trust, to ensure that you are making all the right decisions. If you opt for a will and nothing else, make sure you know exactly what to include.

Source: FindLaw, "What Not To Include When Making a Will," accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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