There are a number of essential things a last will and testament can do for you, such as distribute family heirlooms and name a guardian for minor children, but there are some equally important things a will won’t do:
Diminish estate taxes – a will won’t help you decrease your estate taxes, but a Personal Family Lawyer® can advise you on what kind of trust instruments can accomplish this for you.
Provide long-term care – if you want to provide for someone with special needs or a person with long-term care needs, you will need to establish a trust or invest in a life insurance policy.
Distribute some types of property – to distribute assets from a retirement or investment account or the proceeds of a life insurance policy, you must execute the proper beneficiary designation forms, which supersede instructions in a will. If you own property jointly with someone else, your will won’t allow you to distribute that property.
Provide for pets – since pets cannot legally own property, you will either need to establish a pet trust or designate a caretaker and provide funds for the care of your pet after you are gone.