How To Deal With Beneficiaries In Your Will

Who Can and Cannot Be A Beneficiary

When you’re making up a will, you’ll need to determine who the beneficiaries are going to be and what property will go to which person.

So who can you name as a beneficiary for your property? Any person and/or organization who obtain property thanks to a will are thought of as a beneficiary. Like the requirements that must be met for the person signing the will, there are requirements that must be met for those who are receiving property because of one. These requirements are generally negative ones. Basically, a person or entity may receive the property unless they fall into a disqualification category.

Any person or entity you decide to receive property in your will is allowed to do so… besides the exceptions listed below. This means any person in your family, a named executor, named children (illegitimate or legally yours), creditors, corporations, friends, strangers, acquaintances, debtors and charities (look for possible restrictions below) can be disqualified.

Four Categories That Will Lead To Disqualified Beneficiaries

1 – Attorney who writes up the will is deemed to have undue influence if he/she is designated a beneficiary.
2 – Most states disqualify witnesses to the will’s execution. Before you make a will, see if your state has this kind of restriction. To be on the safe side, however, never let your witnesses be your beneficiaries.
3 – A person who kills the testator becomes disqualified beneficiary as far as getting any property in that person’s will.
4 – Unincorporated associations are not generally allowed to obtain property from a will. The reason is that these organizations/associations have no legal standing to hold onto property.

There are several states that restrict leaving property to churches or charitable organizations. The restrictions come in two forms:

- The amount of time before death when alterations were made to the will that leaves a great deal of money or property to a church or charitable organization
- Percentage limit on the person’s estate that can be left to the charitable organization (limit is generally 50 percent)

Why Are There These Stipulations

The states have this rule in mind to keep abuse out of the dying person’s wish. In the past, many immoral people and organizations have obtained last-minute changes in the will to get a large sum of money from that estate for themselves and/or group. If you would like to leave a great deal of money and/or property to a church or charitable organization, be sure to check for any restrictions in your state.

How States View Wills In Terms Of Relationships

Along with this category is who can be a beneficiary in your will. There are several points that relate to marriage, children and divorce. First off, it’s always in your best interest to review your will every so often. Make changes as you see fit using your family or marital situation to guide you. If you’re married, divorced, separated, widowed, remarried, have a child or adopted one, there may be some unforeseen consequences in the way you have written your will.

Every state is different on how a marriage and divorce affects a person’s will. Some states will completely revoke a will if a divorce occurs. Other states don’t see divorce as having an effect on a will and your divorced spouse could inherit your property if you forget to change your will. States also treat marriage and children in different ways.

Make sure your will is prepared in how your life is currently going through. If there are some notable changes in your life, however, you will need to review and update it.

For more helpful legal advice and other resources, go to Legal Forms site, and you can find useful information related to legal issues and valuablel legal forms that are completely free of charges, including Child Guardianship Clause that you would want to use in your living will when you designate the guardian for your children when you die.