While there are many things you can legally put in a Utah will, you should also be aware that there are many things you cannot put in this legal document. Becoming aware of the limitations of your will is a good first step in the estate planning process. Once you understand what you’re not allowed to include in your will, you can approach this process in a much more efficient way without wasting any time.
If you really want to approach your will in the most efficient way possible, you need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning. These legal professionals can expedite the entire process of creating and planning your will, and they can make sure that you’re not making any simple mistakes that could cause issues in the future.
Things You Cannot Include in Your Will
There are a number of things that you cannot include in your will:
- Jointly-Owned Property: As soon as you pass away, the joint tenant takes full ownership of the property. You cannot leave your share of the property to any of your beneficiaries, so there’s no point in including this in your will.
- Life Insurance Proceeds: If your life insurance policy already has a named beneficiary, you cannot leave these proceeds to someone else in your will. The proceeds will go automatically to the beneficiary upon your passing, so there’s no point including this in your will, either.
- Retirement Plan Proceeds: When you establish an IRA or a 401(k), you will be asked to name a beneficiary when filling out the forms. This means that the beneficiary is already named, so anything you say about these proceeds in your will is ignored.
Things You Cannot (or Should Not) Say in Your Will
Aside from being banned from mentioning specific assets in your will, you also cannot make certain statements:
- Conditions: You cannot put conditions on items. For example, you cannot say that in order for your beneficiary to receive your grand piano, they must first take ten years of piano lessons. You can state your preferences, but these statements have no actual weight in the eyes of the law.
- Funeral Arrangements: You can put your funeral wishes in your will, but this is also quite pointless, since the will is typically read after the funeral has taken place.
- Wishes: Your will is a legal document, so it should deal only with facts. If you have certain wishes that you’d like to express, you should do this in a different document.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching Salt Lake City for a qualified, experienced estate planning attorney, look no further than Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped many Utah draft rock-solid wills, and we can help you avoid many of the common mistakes people make when creating these legal documents. Reach out to book your consultation today, and we can work together to craft a will you can be proud of.
Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law
The Harmon Building
3540 South 4000 West, Suite 245
West Valley City, UT 84120
Email: [email protected]