A last Will and testament is a document containing your final wishes. A county court reads it after you die and the court will make sure that your Will carried out effectively.
Through a Will, you can name an executor, name the guardians of your children or your property, choose how to pay your debts and taxes, how to provide for your pets, and it can serve as a back up to your living trust.
There are also a lot of things that a will can not do, like leaving a property as a gift when your child turns 18 or putting conditions on a property as a gift.
Properties You Can’t Leave Through Your Will
You can’t leave a property you own in joint tenancy, a property transferred to a living trust, life insurance for another beneficiary, a retirement account for another beneficiary, stocks and bonds in beneficiary, and payable-on-death money in your bank account.
Since Wills are read a few days or weeks after your death, it is best to make a separate document for your funeral wishes and inform your executor where you placed it.
You can’t avoid taxes through a Will. It is best to resolve this issue earlier to lower the tax liability.
The property you leave to your survivors through a Will usually gets tied up in probate for six months to a year before it goes to the rightful owners.
Putting Condition on a Will
You can’t put condition on a property as a gift in your Will. For example, you can’t leave your house to your child the moment he or she gets marries, graduates, or changes religion.
You obviously can’t leave a property for illegal purposes in your Will.
You can’t leave properties to your pets through a Will.