Is your Will worthless? While a wonderfully drafted Will helps to transfer wealth and hopefully minimize inheritance tax, a Will without proper estate planning can sometimes become worthless. Beneficiary designations, ownership titles, or transfer on death provisions all have affects which could negate a wonderfully drafted Will all together.
It is important to make sure your complete estate plan involves a process of aligning assets and designating beneficiaries in order to properly assist your Will, so that your ultimate transfer objectives are obtained at your death. Everyone needs estate planning!!!! Answers/Examples: “Is Your Will Worthless”? Wonderfully crafted Wills can greatly achieve their purposes whether its’ for generic asset transfer, inheritance tax reduction, bypass trust funding, charitable remainder trust funding, etc. however, proper asset alignment is crucial to the actual achievement of the Will. Assets which are owned jointly by title and deed as well as assets having designated beneficiaries all bypass the Will. Examples: A house owned joint with right of survivor-ship: If one spouse dies the other spouse automatically owns the whole house, therefore, possibly negating anything setup within the deceases Will. Examples: Life Insurance Policy beneficiary designation. If someone dies owning a Life Insurance policy with a designated beneficiary, the policy payout is automatically the right of the beneficiary and isn’t affected by an individuals Will. Therefore, it is important to make sure your asset ownerships and beneficiary designations not only achieve your ultimate goals related to a Will, but is also aligned to properly take care of further issues such as inheritance taxes, charitable remainder trusts, bypass trusts, marital trusts, etc.
Disclaimer: I am Andrew D. Rice, Vice-President of Money Management Services, Inc. a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. This blog post on “Is Your Will Worthless” should NOT be construed as personalized advice. Andrew D Rice, AIF®, CTS™, WMS