Your will allows you to distribute your assets in whatever way you choose. You get to decide how to split your property between your loved ones and can even choose not to include some family members.
Even with the power a well-drafted will provides, there are better ways to address certain estate matters. Let’s look at some examples.
Already designated property
Don’t include assets or property to which you have already assigned beneficiaries. Examples include retirement accounts, life insurance policies, payable-on-death accounts and some stocks or bonds. Since you named your beneficiaries when creating these accounts and programs, addressing them in your will is unnecessary and could cause trouble.
Special needs provisions
Look to other estate planning tools when you want to leave money for the care and protection of a special needs loved one. A will does not adequately preserve the inheritance and could interfere with the beneficiary’s ability to obtain government benefits (Medicaid, etc.). Instead, consider creating a special needs trust to ensure the long-term care and protection of someone with special needs.
You love your pets and feel they are part of the family, but they cannot directly inherit assets. Creating a pet trust can help ensure that your animals receive the love and care you gave them during your life. Under California law, you have the legal right to make a trust specifically for the benefit of your pets and designate a caregiver for them.
Continue exploring the estate planning options in California for more ways to preserve your assets and give to those you love. Having experienced legal guidance can help.