What do I need to know if I am named a beneficiary?

Beneficiaries are named in someone’s will to receive part of their estate. Upon the death of a loved one, their will is examined to determine what they left behind and who they left it to. This will then cause these assets to be collected and distributed to the proper individuals. These individuals are known as the beneficiaries of the estate. They may also be a beneficiary of a trust. As a beneficiary, they do not have to worry about estate administration matters as an executor would. Instead, beneficiaries should just be involved in the distribution of the estate by collecting the right items.

How is an executor different from a beneficiary?

Executors are important during the estate administration process. An executor will be named in a will by the deceased individual to complete tasks for them. Usually, there is only one individual named to complete this role. When the person dies, the executor is the one who should file the will. This document should be filed in the county where the deceased individual lived. Not only do the executors collect and distribute the possessions to beneficiaries, but they have other duties to take care of as well. Executors are named to take care of any needs left behind by the deceased. Once the individual dies, the executor will have to pay any remaining debts or taxes that are present. With this role, the executor may have to meet with professionals, such as accountants or attorneys to understand the extent of their duties.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that provide information on what the deceased individual wanted for estate administration. Individuals draft wills before their death concerning the administration of their possessions after they die and include directions on who will be in charge of their estate. In order to be considered a valid will, these documents need to go through the probate process. This is to prove that the individual was in a clear state of mind when their will was made. It is important to make sure that no one took advantage of them. When the will is signed, witnesses will be present to ensure the individual is acting of their own accord. The will is also notarized. Individuals may wish to update their will for a variety of reasons. When the birth of a child happens, a divorce occurs or the death of a spouse, individuals can update their will to fit their wishes.

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