6 Things the Law Prevents You from Mentioning in Your Will

6 Things the Law Prevents You from Mentioning in Your Will

July 5, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

Are you thinking of creating a will? Most people don’t think of making one until they reach their retirement, but unfortunately, life is unpredictable. Therefore, you should make your will as soon as you have built substantial wealth. In most developed countries, a will is one of the essential real-estate planning tools. It determines how you want to distribute assets to your loved ones upon your death.

Without a will, the state law and government decide how to allocate the assets, which may not be in your best interests. Sometimes, it even leaves many questions regarding personal property, finances, and assets by the law. Therefore, making a will while you are alive is always the best decision. In addition to eliminating family disputes, you can support your favorite cause and leave a legacy behind. Perhaps, you can give some part of your wealth to charity to make this world a better place.

However, making a will is the most responsible and worthwhile task you will do as an adult, leaving no room for mistakes. You have to ensure you don’t include anything unnecessary in this document; otherwise, it will become void. If you are unaware of these legal technicalities, let us guide you. Here are six things the law prevents people from mentioning in their will.

Assets Held in Trust Fund

With increasing credit risk, many people secure their assets in a trust fund. It protects them from creditors and financial institutions, securing your financial future. In addition, these assets don’t go into the will because the trust automatically transfers them to the beneficiary when the owner dies. Hence, avoid mentioning these assets while making a will to ensure the process goes smoothly. Alongside expediting the process, the trust doesn’t ask for additional paperwork when transferring the assets.

Moreover, you have to determine whether the assets in the trust are revocable or not. If they can get canceled or changed, you have to inform the beneficiary beforehand. Otherwise, ensure the assets are irrevocable to avoid any discrepancies later.


For most people, pets are nothing less than their companions, but the law sees things differently. Under the law, animals are the owner’s personal property which means, you cannot name a pet as a beneficiary in your will. In case you end up making this mistake, the money will go to your residuary beneficiary. That’s the person who gets everything that isn’t designated to another beneficiary.

Besides, this person will have no obligation to care for your pet. It means the pet owner can legally keep money and drop off your furry friend at a local shelter. Hence, instead of leaving your money to the pet, create a trust for your pet. It ensures your pet receives proper care and attention once you are gone.

Funeral Arrangements

Usually, the will settlement doesn’t happen until the funeral. All the probate proceedings and settling of the estate occur after the dead person gets laid to rest. In simple words, funeral arrangements are the first thing that your family will arrange. They may not notice any of the funeral wishes stated in the will. Therefore, avoid including any funeral details in it; instead, talk to your loved ones about what you want.

However, if you’re no longer in touch with your family or live alone, make a separate document for funeral arrangements. There, you can spell out your wishes for the funeral and give the copy to your lawyer or the executor handling the will. They will ensure your family receives the document right after your death.


Undoubtedly, everyone wants to create an after-death wish list. Some want to leave future generations a legacy, while others want their children to follow in their footsteps. Well, you can’t cover any of these wishes in the will. It makes the document void and might lead to the cancellation of other clauses. Thus, avoid taking such a risk and look for some other option. Perhaps, you can hire a lawyer to pass out these wishes outside of your will. They would carry this responsibility once you are gone, helping you leave a legacy.

Jointly Owned Property

Do you own partnerships or joint businesses? Typically, the property that you hold with someone else can’t go in your will. The board of directors will pass the property to the co-owner directly after you die. For instance, if you and your siblings have stocks on a joint account, they will pool funds to buy them after you die. They would buy your part of the shares, and the money will go to your family. If you aren’t aware of this setting, feel free to seek help from a lawyer.

In some instances, the assets and property don’t contain an explicit name. Usually, in the community property state, whatever people acquire during marriage comes under community property. Therefore, the ownership gets split between your spouse and the children. Hence, don’t put this in your will since your spouse would own the property once you pass away.

Assets with Named Beneficiaries

Some financial accounts and assets are transferable on death. When you buy the property, the seller makes you sign the agreement where you have to pick a beneficiary. After an individual’s death, the assets get distributed and paid directly to the named beneficiaries. Thus, it becomes irrelevant to add those assets in the will. However, you must include information about the assets in the letter of instruction. It will inform your loved ones about the assets not included in the will and how they should distribute them among each other.

Final Words

Most people create their will in haste which often leads to mistakes and discrepancies. Undeniably, making a will is challenging, but you have to oversee everything carefully. Leaving out some items can benefit your future heir. In addition to saving them from court procedures, they can inherit your belongings faster. Hence, look for things that you shouldn’t add in the will. From assets in the trust to jointly-owned property, consider everything while making the will.