While making a will is a positive and proactive decision to make sure that your wishes are heard at the end of your life, there are some things that should not be included in the will. This is because they are not legally recognized as part of a will. Some wishes must be dealt with using other strategies, for example, through the creation of a will or a trust.
If you are starting the process of creating a will in the state of Massachusetts, it is important to know the limits of what you can request, so that you can be prepared and know the other estate planning tools available.
The proceeds of retirement plans and life insurance plans
When life insurance plans have a beneficiary, this setup cannot be overruled in a will. Therefore, an attempt to state a desired beneficiary of your life insurance plan in this instance would be futile. Similarly, retirement plans such as 401(k) plans ask you to name a beneficiary. Therefore, you should not include a desired beneficiary in your will.
Property that is held within a living trust
If you have a living trust, these assets will bypass the process of the will and avoid probate. For this reason, wills cannot make any directions in regard to the assets within a living trust.
Similar rules are in place for other assets that have a held beneficiary, such as stocks and bonds, as well of the contents of payable-on-death bank accounts.
If you are starting to write a will in the state of Massachusetts, it is vital that you know how to write a coherent and valid one.