San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home is a Queen Creek funeral home that believes in taking care of family.  That includes having a will prepared when you are no longer around to care for them.  When including property (your belongings) in your will, it is important to know that some types of property carry rules that govern what happens after your passing. These rules are handled independently from your will due to the nature of these types of properties.   Here are the properties to leave out of a will:

  • Joint tenancy property
  • Property in a living trust
  • Life insurance proceeds that have a beneficiary
  • Retirement plan proceeds
  • Stocks and bonds held in beneficiary
  • Proceeds from a payable-upon-death bank account.

Typically, the settling of an estate and the probate proceedings occur after the funeral, so including your wishes for your Gilbert funeral home funeral arrangements in your will does not make sense. They would probably not be noticed until after your funeral. Instead, you can communicate your wishes to your loved ones in advance, write out your wishes in a separate document, or pre-plan your funeral.  Our staff here at San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home will be happy to assist you with pre-planning your funeral arrangements at our Gilbert funeral home.

A will is still subject to estate taxes. So, instead of writing a will to avoid them, you may want to explore different kinds of trusts. Depending on your situation, you can escape some tax subjection with a trust because the property goes to a trust account rather than directly to the beneficiary.

Having a will does not mean that you can escape the probate process, but it can help speed things up. When writing a will, if you include specifics on how you want your property divided, then the court will follow your wishes.

Be careful when writing your will about placing certain conditions on gifts you are leaving to others. Conditions such as marriage, divorce, or even a change in religion cannot be provisions in a legal will. Other conditions that encourage a particular action can be included. For example, if you can give a gift to a grandchild provided he finishes college.   Keep in mind, however, that conditions on gifts can complicate matters. You just need to be thoughtful about who will enforce your conditions, for how long, and if that person will get an executor’s fee for their services.

Two last notes about writing a will: First, forget what you see in the movies…you cannot leave your property to a pet. You can, however, leave your pet with someone you trust will take good care of them. As well, you should not make arrangements to care for a person with special needs in a will. There are certain types of trust that specifically address such care management.

There is no one good time that you should consider writing a will. Many people wait until they are much older to do so. But at our Gilbert funeral home, we recommend that, if you have any notable property or if you have children or other family that you want to provide for, you should consider writing a will as soon as possible.  It will make things so much easier for your loved ones.