A will sets out critical wishes regarding how you want your property to pass to your heirs. The probate court in Texas follows your wishes unless you include items in your will that do not belong.
Some directives require separate documentation for various reasons. While a will serves as the master document that the court follows, adding something to it that is not applicable may draw out disbursement. Getting a basic handle on what does not go into a will may help you draft an effective document.
Should your will talk about funeral wishes?
You may assume funeral plans belong in your will. However, the gap in time between your death and the reading of your will may prove considerable. The better option is to have a letter or addendum with your estate plan and loved ones setting out your funeral wishes.
Do you delineate joint property in a will?
When you own property or accounts with someone else as a joint tenant, you may want to leave your share to someone else. A will is not the place to do this. Joint property often passes directly to the remaining person or persons on the deed or account. If you want to give your share to someone else, you have to do that in a separate legal document.
Can you leave money for pets?
You may feel like your pets are children, but the court does not see it that way. You cannot appoint a guardian or pass money to your pets in a will. All of these instructions need to remain outside the will.
When creating a will, you may have circumstances that require special handling. Getting the advice and counsel of a professional may ensure that your plan passes through court and onto your family easier.