What are Beneficiaries?

A Beneficiary may be a Person or an Organization 

Beneficiaries are individuals, trusts, or even organizations who are designated in estate planning documents to receive assets of the estate. Beneficiaries can be personally named or named as a class. For example, a testator may name each of his children by name to receive a percentage of his estate or he may state that the estate   be equally divided among “his children then living”.  In either case, his children are beneficiaries.  A beneficiary may also be a trust. The trust then receives the assets of the estate and the trustee is instructed as to how to further the distribution of the trust.

Beneficiaries in Insurance Policies

Retirement plans, insurance policies and other investment accounts often have “beneficiary designations”.  A beneficiary in policies and retirement plans is basically the same as in an estate planning document. The beneficiary is the person, trust, or organization named to receive the assets upon death of the policy or investment owner.  The beneficiary designation is made directly through the insurance company or plan provider.

Getting Legal Help

To learn more about estate planning and what you need to do to protect your assets and your loved ones, contact experienced estate planning attorney Elga Goodman. Call us today at 973-841-5111.

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