Do you need to list your property or assets in your will?

In your will, you only list those assets that you want to make a specific gift of. Otherwise, all of your assets will be given pursuant to your residuary clause.  A residuary clause is a provision in a will that disposes of property not expressly disposed of by other provisions, and is often overlooked by those who choose to prepare a will on their own. Watch the video to learn more about easy tips to avoid probate!

Steve: I'm met up with a paralegal, she told me I didn't need anything else, but it didn't address the fact that I had properties, I have four empty lots in Palm Bay, Florida and my house, and the house is paid for already, there's no more mortgage in it, but it does not address the fact that my sisters wouldn't know how to inherit the empty lots. I don't know how to do that. The paralegal said that it's not a matter, they can just take it. I have addressed anything in [unintelligible 00:00:35] who gets the house, who gets the property or who gets the content. I have two cars, who get the cars. I want to be of fair to my sisters.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, Steve. You did a will, and in that will I suspect that you said that when you pass away, everything goes equally to your sisters. When you do that, it automatically includes everything that you own, including these empty lots, including the contents of your home. The only time that your will specifically mentions an item or a piece of property is when you have a specific device of that piece of property. Otherwise, you have a residuary clause that simply says, take everything and give it to my sisters. Steve, did I answer your question for you?

Steve: Yes, but how will they know how to divide it up? I didn't give any specific-- I know I said equally, but how would they know exactly what the,  the property is not in their name. Do they need paperwork to show that they can inherit the property?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Steve, when you pass away, it will require a probate process to get that property out of your name and into the names of your sisters. Steve, there's nothing automatic about it, there's nothing that they can do by themselves. They will be required to hire an attorney to probate your stay to get those assets out of your name and into the names of your sisters. Steve, if you want to avoid probate, if you want to make things simple, easy, inexpensive for them, you need to think about either doing a living trust or using some other simple tools that we have available for people.

By the way Chrissy, we have a booklet called Easy Ways To Avoid Probate and that would be simple, that would be appropriate for Steve and other listeners out there if they want us to mail them that booklet on Easy Ways To Avoid Probate.

Chrissy: You can text me your name and your address to 407-808-8398 and we will send you that booklet out as a starting point.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If you want the booklet Easy Ways To Avoid Probate, all you have to do is call or actually it's best if you text Chrissy with your name and address, we'll just pop it in the mail to you to 407-808-8398.