What Should I Exclude in My Maryland Will? | What to Know

There are a number of things you will want to exclude from your will. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a Montgomery County will drafting attorney today.

What should I exclude from putting in my will?

You will want to be sure to exclude the following from your will in Maryland:

1. Trust property. A trust is a separate method that can be utilized to assign your assets. Because the trust operates on its own, it is essential to avoid inconsistencies and not to put anything in your will that the trust will operate and distribute on its own terms. Trusts are a typical estate planning option that avoids probate. When you title property into the trust, it becomes subject to the trust’s rules, which are spread out in the trust document rather than the will.

2. Assets with named beneficiaries. In some cases, assets and financial accounts are payable or transferable on death. They are assigned or paid out immediately to the named beneficiaries, which makes putting them in a will not essential. You can include information about these assets in a letter of instruction.

Instead of naming these assets in your will, grant them beneficiary designations instead:

  • Bank accounts
  • Brokerage or investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts and pension plans
  • A life insurance policy

3. Jointly-owned property. Property that is jointly owned with another individual will almost always instantly pass to the co-owner after you die, which is why you should avoid putting this in your will. For instance, if you and your sibling own stocks in a jointly owned brokerage account, then they will continue to own the account and its investments after you pass away. This arrangement is called joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

4. Conditional gifts and bequests. In a will, you can be clear about who obtains what, yet, if you connect certain conditions, it may not work because no one can legally enforce the terms so you should leave these kinds of wishes out when writing a will. If you have clear facts about how someone should use their inheritance, whether they are a spendthrift or someone with special needs, you should open a trust that can give you more control over your beneficiaries, even after you pass away.

If you are would like to learn more about what you should leave out of your will, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced Montgomery County estate planning attorney today.

Contact our experienced Montgomery County, Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.