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Is there anything that does not go in a will?

If you have decided to draft a last will and testament in Missouri, you have taken crucial steps to bequeathing your assets to your loved ones when you pass away. However, not all of your post-death wishes can be expressed in a will. According to Findlaw, some instructions, for a number of reasons, should not be included in a will.

First, you cannot specify actions in a will that are contrary to law. For example, wills are subject to estate taxes. Therefore, you cannot use a will to try and avoid having your assets taxed. You also cannot leave behind assets with stated instructions to do something illegal with them. Also, wills can still be contested through probate, so you cannot avoid probate with a will, although a will can make a probate proceeding go much faster since your wishes are officially spelled out.

It is also wise not to include instructions for your funeral in your will. Typically, settling estate matters do not occur until the funeral is concluded, so chances are your will shall not even be looked at until after the funeral. It is better to speak to family members about how you want your funeral set up. Additionally, you can draft a specific document that lays out your funeral plans and hand it over to the person who oversees your estate.

People should also be careful about conditions placed on gifts left in a will. Some conditions will not be enforced by a court if they infringe on another person's rights, such as leaving assets on the condition the beneficiary changes his or her religion or divorces a spouse. Generally, gift conditions that are enforceable encourage a beneficiary to perform a certain action, such as to use a property for a specific purpose like gardening or an art studio. Other conditions may impose goal requirements on a beneficiary, like completing college before receiving assets.

Some loved ones have children that possess special needs. While it is important to provide for a special needs child's future, it is not wise to use a will to do it. Special needs family members are better off with a trust instead. A parent can set up a special needs trust that will address the child's particular needs and set up management for the provisions of the trust.

This article is intended to educate readers on wills and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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