In understanding what you can accomplish in your will, it is important to understand the things you cannot do. Below are four important things to know you cannot do in a will.
1. Dispose of Property in a revocable trust.
If you established a revocable trust during your life, any property held by the trustee of such revocable trust (even if you are the trustee) is not disposed of by your Will. The trust document governs how the trust property will be distributed.
2. Designate the Beneficiary of your Life Insurance Policies.
If you want to change the beneficiary you need to request change of beneficiary forms from your life insurance company, complete the form and file it with the life insurance company before your death. The beneficiary designation on file with the life insurance company controls who receives your insurance proceeds not your Will.
3. Designate the Beneficiary of Your Retirement Plans
Like life insurance, if you want to change the beneficiary designation on your 401(k), IRA, pension and other retirement plans you need to request change of beneficiary forms, complete the form and file it with the company before your death.
4. Transfer Proceeds from a Payable-on-Death Bank Account.
To change the beneficiary, you just fill out form with your bank but a will which names a beneficiary other than the one on file at the bank will not be considered valid.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced estate planning attorney Elga Goodman can help you understand all your options for asset preservation and making the most of your estate assets to plan for the future and provide for your loved ones. Call us today at 973-841-5111 to learn more.