Wills are powerful estate planning documents. They allow you to distribute your assets as you see fit and ensure your final wishes are legally binding.
However, a will is probably not ideal for all your estate assets and might not fully protect all your heirs and beneficiaries. Before you use a will to address all your estate arrangements, take some time to determine what belongs in this document and what does not.
You cannot include your pets
Since pets cannot own property legally, do not bequeath anything to your pets in a will. New Hampshire and many other states allow you to create a special trust to address the care of your pets after you die. A well-funded pet trust helps your animals live comfortably when you are no longer there for them.
Do not address special needs loved ones
A will does not account for everything required to support a disabled individual long-term. Placing these inheritances in a special needs trust works much better for addressing their needs. These trusts ensure your loved one remains eligible for government benefits programs like Medicaid, even if the trust funds are sizeable.
Leave out retirement plans and life insurance
Remember that you designated the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts and life insurance policies when you created them. Avoid naming them again in your will. Not only is it unnecessary, but it may also cause confusion or complicate the speedy distribution of assets to your heirs.
As you can see, creating a will is not as simple as you may have thought, especially when you have other estate planning components to consider. When creating your will and other documents, consider consulting someone knowledgeable about estate planning laws in New Hampshire.