3 Limitations of a Will | Estate Planning TV 005

The first limitation is ‘it does not eliminate probate’. In Washington State, eliminating probate is not a big deal. The fees are not based on the percentage of assets. It’s relatively flat and low. But it does take time, money and effort. If you’re interested in eliminating probate, a will does not do that for you. The other thing to consider is if you have a property in another estate, you have to open up a probate in each state to get the property transferred.

The second downside is ‘no control’. Control in a way that making sure that it goes where you want, when you want and used in the way that you want. You can’t really do that. A will does one thing really, really well: tell the world who gets your stuff. Once they get it, it’s theirs.

The third downside of a will is ‘there’s no protection’. Let’s say for example you have $100,000 and you want to give it to your kid and your kid is an aggressive business person. And when you die you catch your kid at a slump and there are creditors that want your money. With a will, when time for distribution comes, that money will go to your kid’s account and straight out to the creditors. There’s no protection from divorce, bad habits like gambling, drugs and drinking and even excessive spending.

Christopher Small is the owner of CMS Law Firm LLC a Seattle estate planning law firm. Click here for a free strategy session.