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November 25, 2014 - Blog

Doesn't My Will Do It All

More than Money with Gene Dickison Answers:

“My husband and I finally met with an attorney and had our wills written up.  After all these years of trying to get it done I was feeling really good . . . until I talked to my accountant who told me that most of my estate is not covered by the will.  I thought the will controlled my estate.  What wouldn’t be ‘covered’ by my will?”

It depends . . . nothing or everything . . . it really does depend.

Here’s a short list (likely incomplete) of assets that might not or would not likely be covered by your will:

  • Life insurance proceeds – beneficiary designation
  • IRAs -  beneficiary
  • 401(k)s – beneficiary
  • Annuities – beneficiary
  • Home – joint titling
  • Bank Accounts – joint titling or ToD or PoD
  • Investment Accounts – joint titling or ToD or PoD

If your estate is completely covered by this list you may find your will does very little.  If you have lots of stuff not on this list your will be carry the weight of your estate administration.

I told you . . . it depends.

By the way, your attorney should have reviewed all this with you.  If he/she did not (and it sounds like they did not) shame on them.

With beneficiary designations important to so many types of accounts and assets – have you reviewed yours to insure they do what you want them to do?


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