In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses what a will doesn’t cover, and how to best prepare your estate plan.
I want to talk to you today about what your will doesn’t cover. I think this is something important for you to know because in a lot of cases people will think they’ve taken care of everything by having a will, and the relatives come to find out after that person dies that that’s not how it’s going to work. So, here’s the deal: A will only covers things that are in your name and don’t have their own beneficiary designation.
So what are the things that a will doesn’t cover?
First of all, it doesn’t cover anything that is a joint tenancy account. So if you have three kids and added one onto the account as a joint tenant, that money is going to that one. Up to them whether they want to share it or if they decide not to, then they don’t have to. Anything with a POD, which is Pay On Death, or TOD (Transfer On Death) designation, any life insurance policies or annuities that have a beneficiary designation, any IRAs that have their own beneficiary designation, or if you have anything that you own through a living trust or any other kind of trust, that is going to go to whoever is named as a beneficiary in the trust, and not under your will.
I guess that’s why we call it estate planning and not just document drafting. It’s real important for your estate plan to work as you intended, that all the players be on the same team and everything be coordinated.
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.