When writing up a will in New York, you’re probably going to think, first and foremost, about your money and your monetary assets. You may have other assets — like a house or a car — but the money is still the main thing a will splits up. However, as you’ll see, your will actually can’t address all of these assets.
For example, if you purchased a life insurance policy, you may not be able to put the money that the policy pays out in the will. You see, when you buy it, you are asked to choose a beneficiary. This person will then get the money from the policy. You can’t say that it should go to someone else in the will, and you don’t need to specify a second time that it should go to the beneficiary.
Another good example is a retirement plan. In the same way, many plans also have beneficiaries. These are usually spouses or children. If you did specify that someone should get the money, your will has no power to change this. The same is true for investments that are made on your own, for the purpose of retirement, even if you don’t have a retirement plan that is being offered by your employer.
As you draft your will, be sure to go over all of the assets you have and any paperwork that you may have already signed, checking on how it impacts what can and cannot be done with your money. It’s crucial to know what money has already been signed away and what has to be added to the will to be distributed properly.
Source: FIndLaw, “Types of property you can’t include when making a will,” accessed Sep. 15, 2015