Having a will is smart. It conveys your last wishes to your loved ones, and it takes decisions about health care, assets and other issues out of their hands.

It is also easy to make a mistake in your will. and some things do not belong in a will. They can complicate the settling of your estate, causing problems for your loved ones.

What to leave out of your will

Some types of property fall outside the rules of your will. Among them are joint tenancy property and property in a living trust.

Some of your assets already include beneficiaries, so do not mention them in your will. Examples include proceeds from life insurance policies, retirement funds and payable-on-death bank accounts.

Do not include instructions for your funeral in your will. Your estate is not settled until after your funeral. It is possible that no one will be aware of your wishes until it is too late. Instead, discuss your funeral with loved ones or establish a separate document.

Whom to leave out of your will

Do not make arrangements for a disabled person in your will. A special trust can better address the special needs of a disabled loved one.

Do not include pets in your will, as animals have no rights to own property. It is better to leave the pet to someone you trust. Provide that person with the means – property and/or money – to care for the animal. Another option in Florida is setting up a trust fund with your pet as the beneficiary.

What your will should mean

A will that makes your wishes clear speeds up the division of your property. A will that contradicts other documents or contains illegal requests creates confusion.

A will may be the most important document of your life, and you want to do it right. Make life easier for those you leave behind.