What You Shouldn’t Put in Your Will

in will - fountain pen on paper with a flower

Thinking about the future is always difficult, but is still etched in the back of our minds. So, sometimes we think about the future without even meaning to. Therefore, the idea of writing a will is eventually thought about. If you plan to write a will and would like to know what you can and can’t include, the following list outlines what you shouldn’t put in your will.

Life insurance and retirement funds

One detail you shouldn’t include in your will is information about life insurance and retirement funds when you’ve already chosen an inheritor. Any assets associated with your life insurance and retirement funds will automatically go to your inheritor. Therefore, they won’t be distributed through your will.

Funeral arrangements

Another detail you shouldn’t include in your will are funeral arrangements. This is because a will usually has to go through probate before given to your loved ones; probate is the process of administering the estate of someone who has passed away. If you include any funeral wishes in your will, it’s unlikely that your family members will be able to see it. Therefore, make sure you create a funeral plan instead, which can be given to your family immediately after you pass away.

Any wishes

Wishes are also something you should avoid including in your will. This is because wishes are usually not covered in a will. If you have any specific wishes you want to carry out, this will have to be your executor’s job, which means you’ll have to inform them outside of your will.

Any conditions

Another detail to exclude in your will are gifts with conditions such as divorce or marriage since they are illegal. However, you’re allowed to include encouragements.

Gifts for your pets

It’s hard not to leave gifts for your pets in your will, especially if you love them so much, but this is usually not allowed. However, you can name who you want your pet to be looked after by and any money you want to be spent for your pet’s needs.

Any joint held property

If you have a joint held property, remember not to include this in your will. This is because the property will automatically go to the other person who is part of the joint property. Therefore, including it in your will is pointless.


These are a few things you shouldn’t include in your will, which hopefully helps you to write one. If you’re struggling to create one or you’re unsure if you should, have a read of our articles on 5 Reasons Why You Should Write a Will and 5 Tips to Remember When Writing a Will, which might be useful.

If you need advice, or if you have any enquiries, get in touch with our will writing specialists from our directory here or our solicitors from our directory here.

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