Things You Can’t Include When Making a Will in Mississippi

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t put whatever you want in a will. Mississippi residents should know some of the property types that are not allowed to be placed within a will. Read on to learn more.

  • Joint tenancy property: This type of property automatically passes full ownership to your joint tenant (typically a spouse). Because the law, in this case, supersedes your direct wishes, ownership will automatically move to him or her.
  • Property in a Living Trust: Many smart clients do this to avoid probate. The property included within a living trust avoids probate (property in a will does not). Additionally, property in the living trust automatically goes to the beneficiaries and is managed by the named trustee. If you want to change this, you must do it through the trust forms and documents and not through your will.
  • Stocks & Bonds Held in Beneficiary: Simply put, beneficiaries automatically receive the property named to them. If you want to change the named beneficiary, you’ll need to speak with your brokerage company. The automatic passthrough also applies to life insurance and retirement proceeds with named beneficiaries.

Special Needs Trusts

There are specific trust types that are meant to hold funds for loved ones with special needs. If you’re looking to set aside money, property, or assets for their care, talk with your estate planning attorney about setting up a special needs trust (SNT) that will meet the needs of what you’re looking for.

Lastly, you cannot leave property or assets to a pet. Animals do not legally have the capacity to own property, so a potential best option is to leave assets and care instructions to someone you trust.


In almost every situation, a Mississippi will is best drafted with the guidance of an estate planning legal expert to ensure the process is done the right way the first time. Jackson and Brandon families trust The Law Offices of Rusty Williard to help them craft detailed and thoughtful trusts. Call (601) 824-9797 today to learn more and schedule a free consultation.