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Administration of a Will

Wills are simple, inexpensive ways to address many estates. But they don't do it all. Here are some things that may not be accomplished in a will.


Named Beneficiaries for Certain Kinds of Property

A will can't be used to leave:

  • Property you held in joint tenancy with someone else. At death, the deceased's share will automatically belong to the surviving joint tenant(s). A will provision leaving the deceased's share to someone other than the surviving joint tenant, would have no effect unless all joint tenants died simultaneously.

  • Property that was transferred to a living trust.

  • Proceeds of a life insurance policy for which there is a named beneficiary.

  • Money in a pension plan, individual retirement account (IRA), 401(k) plan or other retirement plan.

  • Money in a payable-on-death bank account.
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