What property may you dispose of with your will?
When you prepare your own last will, you will prepare an inventory of all of your assets and liabilities that you have had. This will allow you to make a complete listing of all of the property that you own as you begin to consider which beneficiaries should receive which property according to the will that you write and sign.
Generally, you may dispose of any property that you own at the time of your death. However, this simple fact contains certain factors which need further explanation. There are forms of property which you may "own", but actually it may not be transferred by way of a will even if you sign on it. In addition, you may own only a percentage or share of certain other properties under sharer's name together. In such situations, only that share or percentage which you are actually claiming the ownership may be left by your will. Finally, there are types of property ownership which will be automatically transferred to another party at your death, regardless of the presence of a will, so you might need to be cautious about this type of property.
In the first category of properties which cannot be transferred by
will are the ones that have a designated beneficiary outside of the
provisions of your will. These types of properties include:
- Retirement plans
- Life insurance policies
- IRAs and KEOGHs
- Trust bank accounts
- Pension plans
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Living trust assets
- U.S Savings Bonds, with payable-on-death beneficiaries
In general, if you already specified a valid determination of who would receive the property upon your death (for example, who is life insurance beneficiary?), you may not have the power of altering this choice of beneficiary through the use of your will. If you would like to alter your choice of beneficiary in any of these cases, you need to alter the choice directly with the holder of the particular property (for instance, the life insurance company or bank).
The next category of property that may have certain restrictions regarding its transfer by will is property where you may only own a certain share or percentage and the rest are owned by others. For example, you might have a partnership interest in a company or jointly-held property. By using a will, you may only leave that particular percentage or fraction of the ownership of the property that is actually yours.
When you prepare a will, you may use Free Will Forms but make sure that you have get the form signed. At any time, a signed document is legally binding, so ask lawyer for any questions. For easy downloadable forms, go online and get Free Legal Forms and you should be able to find many general legal forms and documents such as Living Will, Power of Attorney and Rental Agreement Forms free of charge.