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When does a Will not help?

A will only controls the assets that are in your name at the time of your death. There are many types of assets which are not part of your estate and do not pass under a will. For example, life insurance, annuities, retirement benefits, and IRA accounts are usually payable to a named beneficiary, so they are not part of the estate and are not controlled by the will. In addition, property owned by a husband and wife as joint tenants with right of survivorship automatically pass to the surviving owner, regardless of what is said in the will. In addition, contrary to popular belief, a will does not have any affect on whether or not your estate will have to pay estate taxes. There are, however, many ways to minimize estate taxes which can be discussed with your attorney.