A last will can sound like the right choice when you don’t know much about estate planning. There are some things that a last will can accomplish, but there are many things that a will won’t do. And, some of the things that a will can do can be better accomplished in other ways but we will cover that at another time.
In this post we would like to look at three things that a last will does not accomplish for the testator.
If your assets exceed the exclusion amount you should be seeking avenues that provide estate tax efficiency. If you simply pass them along directly to your heirs via the instructions contained within a last will you are not taking a tax efficient route.
Assets that remain in your personal possession at the time of your death are subject to the probate process if you arrange for the transfers with a last will. Probate can be expensive, and it is a public proceeding and everything that goes on is a matter of public record.
This process can also take a lot of time, and inheritances are not distributed until the estate has been probated and closed.
Selection of Decision Makers
In the event of your incapacity the state could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to handle your affairs. You may not approve of the court’s decision.
It is possible to empower people of your own choosing to make decisions in your behalf should you become incapacitated. However, this cannot be done with a last will.