Q: Should a will provide a separate list that details and bequeaths specific personal property?
A: If this is allowable in the state in question, the benefit of doing so is that the list can be changed from time to time as opposed to changing or adding codicils to the will.
Q: How does “joint tenancy” effect a will?
A: Joint tenancy with right of survivorship (FTWROS) is a common legal method of defining property ownership when shared with another person, but it doesn’t replace a will. Typical, this “survivor” is a spouse, but can apply to other relationships. If one of the owners dies, the other becomes the sole owner of the property. This means that the real estate isn’t part of the decedent’s estate, and therefore, is not subject to probate. However, all parties should be aware of possible tax liability implications (if any) of such survivorship.
Q: Are there any specific rules about how property can be disposed of?
A: In general, the answer is yes, but if (for example) you indicated that all your effects should be buried in a big hole in the back of your property, that request might be deemed inappropriate by the courts and denied. A judge can void all or part of a will. You cannot change the effects of law just by stating your wishes in your will. For example, you may not suspend or terminate any legal rights or claims that a spouse, child or business relationship may rightfully have against an estate just by stating that in a will. They will remain in effect.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that the information on this page is delivered without warranty or guarantee of accuracy. It’s provided to help you learn more and formulate specific questions to discuss with your attorney and/or your Real Estate Professional and/or to help a personal representative, executor or executrix when executing their challenging responsibilities. By accessing this page, you acknowledge that it has been provided for INFORMATION ONLY and that you are hereby advised and fully aware that any decisions regarding probate issues should be discussed with an attorney and/or a Real Estate Professional.