Pretty much everyone understands the importance of having a well-written will, yet most people do not have one. If you die without a will (known as intestate), the probate court will intervene and a judge (whom you probably never met) will decide how your assets are distributed to your loved ones. The only problem with this is that this distribution may be against your wishes.
On the other hand, if you set aside time to write your will, you will be having control over how your assets are distributed or who will take guardianship of your minor children when you pass on. However, this can only be possible if your will is written according to Kentucky laws.
Any property that you co-own with someone else cannot be included in a will. Why? Because ownership of such property is usually automatically assumed by the surviving co-owner upon one party’s passing. For instance, the marital home is typically owned by the couple. Thus, when one spouse passes on, the surviving spouse automatically assumes full ownership of the home.
Property that is held in a trust
A trust is an estate planning tool that you can use to distribute your assets. A trust offers multiple benefits such as avoiding probate and some estate taxes. When you place a property in a trust, it becomes subject to the terms of the trust, which are outlined in the trust document. Since the trust is an independent entity, it is important to avoid conflicts or inconsistencies by not including assets that are already in the trust in your will.
While creating your will, you may be specific about who receives what asset. For instance, you can say that your nephew will receive your car. However, you cannot include the conditions under which they will receive the car in the will. For instance, you cannot indicate in your will that your nephew will inherit your car only IF they use it to drive to school.
A will is the foundation of the estate plan. However, it is important to know what you can, and cannot, include in your will.