What Not to Include in Your Will | Senior Finance Advisor

Senior Finance Advisor
3 min readMar 10, 2022


As you get older, it is important to start thinking about your will. This document will dictate how your estate is distributed after you die. While there are many things to consider when writing a will, there are also some things that you should avoid. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes made when writing a will and what not to include in yours.

Avoid adding these items in your will

Not including these items in your will make the process easier for your loved ones after you’re gone.

Personal items with no monetary value

One common mistake people make when writing their will is including personal items that have sentimental value but no monetary worth. While it may be difficult to part with certain items, it is important to remember that your will is a legal document and should only include things of financial value.

Unrealistic bequests

When writing a will, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford to leave behind. Don’t include unrealistic bequests that could put a financial burden on your loved ones after you’re gone.

Business interests

Business interests could be subject to estate taxes. The tax bill on a deceased person’s estate can be as high as 40%, so if you want to keep the business within the family, it’s best not to include it in your will. When it comes to business, most people desire a smooth and unbroken transfer of power, so you’ll want your succession not to be subject to dispute.

Items you don’t want going through probate

Probate is the legal process of validating a will. It can be a long and expensive process, so you might want to avoid including items in your will that you don’t want to go through probate. These items could include things like life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and Transfer on Death (TOD) accounts.

Key information for family members

Another common mistake made when writing wills is leaving out key information, such as the name of your executor or the legal description of the property. This can lead to delays in probate and even invalid wills.

To avoid these and other common mistakes, be sure to consult with an attorney when writing your will. They can help make sure that your will is valid and includes all the information your loved ones need in order to carry out your wishes after you’re gone.

What You Should Put In Your Will

Now that we’ve gone over what not to include in your will, let’s talk about what you should put in your will.

Your will should include:

  • A list of your assets and how you want them distributed
  • The names of the executor of your estate and any alternate executors
  • Any charities or organizations you would like to donate part of your estate to
  • The names of your beneficiaries and how you want them to inherit your assets

For a comprehensive list, read Everything You Need to Know About Making a Will.

Remember, your will should be tailored specifically to your own needs and circumstances. If you’re not sure what to include, talk to an estate planning financial advisor for advice. Writing a will is an important step in ensuring your wishes are carried out after you die, so take the time to do it right.

Originally published at https://seniorfinanceadvisor.com.



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