5 Priorities That Wills Do Not Cover

Wills are an imperative component of estate planning. Having one in place tells survivors exactly who gets which assets, limiting the chaos that can potentially erupt in the wake of someone’s death. However, these documents are unable to secure every matter of importance that arises after you move on. Here are five concerns not covered by this essential estate-planning tool.

1. Funeral Plans

Although you may provide directions for how your funeral is to be conducted in your will, it is often too late by the time relatives read your wishes. A better tactic is to work directly with a funeral home to craft a plan and then make sure loved ones know how to retrieve your instructions after you’ve passed.

2. Pet Care

Pets are family members. Because we love and cherish them, we want them to continue receiving the same treatment we give them during our lives. Wills can specify who gets your animals, but a separate document known as a pet protection agreement is a better vehicle for assuring pets get taken care of according to our desires.

3. Dependent Management

Another concern that wills cannot cover is what happens with relatives who have special needs. If you have a spouse, child or someone else you are responsible for, a special needs trust makes a better method of assuring they are properly taken care of once your assistance is no longer possible. Solidifying an agreement dedicates funds to their situation without negatively impacting government benefits.

4. Stand-Alone Assets

You might be shocked to learn that wills are unable to handle many types of assets. Certain tangibles, such as property that is jointly owned or dwellings placed in a trust, cannot be affected by a will. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies are also untouchable. The future of these assets is determined exclusively by documents that specifically reference them.

5. Estate Taxes

Estates over a particular value become subject to estate taxes. This penalty may be impossible to entirely avoid. Thankfully, there are strategies for reducing the amount that gets taken. An estate planning lawyer can help minimize how much the government may claim.

Many people dread planning for their own deaths, yet handling the matter during one’s lifetime provides invaluable tranquility and peace of mind. While having a will is vital, its reach is limited. Working with an estate planning lawyer in Barrington, IL from a firm like Bott & Associates, Ltd., can help secure everything that occurs after you’re gone.