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Beneficiaries of Wills – What to Know

Most people do not like thinking about their death. However, this is a reality of life that we cannot wish away. This is why you are advised to write a will early in life. Writing a will starts with naming your dependents. Dependents can be different people ranging from family members to friends. It is important though to let them know of the contents.

The definition of a beneficiary is the person who is in line for inheritance upon death of the owner of the will. The beneficiary is named as a successor of an estate, investment or even insurance policy. In case the beneficiary is a minor, he or she will wait to reach legal age to inherit the property. The benefactor should tell the beneficiaries about the will early. This will eradicate confusion when you die.

A written will should be revisited once in a while. There are life changes that can lead you to change the content of the will. Of importance also is that you should also have alternate or secondary beneficiaries. In case the primary beneficiary in the will dies, the secondary one takes over. Keep your will documents up to date.

Beneficiaries fall in different categories. The first one is the irrevocable beneficiary. Consult your attorney and financial advisor before settling on an irrevocable beneficiary. Irrevocable beneficiaries are very difficult to change. The second type is the revocable beneficiary. This one can be changed in case something happens in life. Things like marriage or divorce can call for alteration of beneficiaries.

The person who is designated to receive property when you die is the primary beneficiary. This person is of interest to most insurance companies. Contingent or alternate beneficiaries form another group of beneficiaries. This is the alternative beneficiary if the primary beneficiary was to die before getting the inheritance. Others are residuary beneficiaries. These are named to get very particular items from the benefactors. Case in point is a grandmother gifting a specific jewel to a grandchild.

Point to remember is that residuary beneficiaries can also have alternate residuary beneficiaries in place. People to be named in a will are many. Most people prefer to name their spouses as primary beneficiaries. After naming the spouse, it is good to name the alternate beneficiary. A good choice here would be the children. There are many people who prefer to have children as primary beneficiaries.

There are special cases where people name friends or charities as beneficiaries to their assets. These are just life choices. More information about wills can be found online for further reading. The fact that we never know when death will come to us means that writing a will early is of vital importance.

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