A Guide To Beneficiaries In Estate Planning In California
A beneficiary is someone or something to whom you leave your property. A testator can name any person, family member, friend, organization, or institution. The only person who cannot be designated as a beneficiary is whoever serves as a witness to the signing of the Will.
So, who can you include as beneficiaries in your last will and testament? Here's a quick guide to choosing your beneficiaries, dividing your assets, and making plans for your estate.
When Leaving Your Assets To Multiple Beneficiaries
You should consider dividing your estate if you have several children, siblings, or other beneficiaries. But, again, you must be explicit about who you want to receive an inheritance from and how much each individual will receive. Any Burbank Estate Planning Attorney will tell you that the language and phrasing of any legal document are crucial. If your wording is vague, it might leave to Will challenges later.
If you identify many beneficiaries in your Will, you must also state how the assets will be distributed. Some examples of asset distribution methods are as follows:
Transferring assets to beneficiaries in a fair and equitable manner
Distributing assets unequally among beneficiaries (i.e., you might want to give 80 percent to someone and 20 percent to another)
To attribute unique characteristics to specific people
To direct a portion of your inheritance to be distributed evenly among a group of persons while the remainder is distributed in specific amounts to other people or organizations.
To order the liquidation of all of your assets and the distribution of the proceeds equally or unequally among beneficiaries.
If you're naming several beneficiaries, it's a good idea to think about the assets you'll be gifting and how the distributions of those assets will work out.