One of the most important decisions someone must make when writing their will is choosing their beneficiaries. It’s essential to choose beneficiaries who are responsible, trustworthy, and most importantly, people who will respect the wishes set out in the will. When done correctly, selecting the appropriate beneficiaries can be a great way to leave a lasting legacy and ensure that your loved ones are taken care of long after you’re gone.
What Is a Beneficiary?
A beneficiary is a person or entity who is designated to receive property owned by another person. They can be designated in life insurance policies, wills, or trusts.
Examples of beneficiaries can include:
- Other family members
- Business partners
- Charities or other organizations
How to Choose Beneficiaries
When deciding who to include in your will, the first step is to consider who you would like to receive your assets or possessions after you pass away. You should also consider any special instructions or conditions that you would like to attach to the distribution of these assets.
Common factors to consider:
- Financial support: Who are the individuals you would like to continue to support after death?
- Ability to manage money: Are you confident that the beneficiaries you are selecting are able to handle a large sum of money?
- Age: Is the beneficiary over 18? If not, you may need to set up a trust. This will hold the assets until the beneficiary is no longer a minor.
There are two types of beneficiaries named:
- Primary beneficiaries: Primary beneficiaries receive the assets if they are alive at the time of your passing.
- Contingent beneficiaries: These beneficiaries are names as “next in line” to receive benefits. If the primary beneficiary should pass away before you, the assets are passed to the named contingent beneficiaries.
It’s essential to carefully choose who will receive your assets and to update your beneficiaries regularly to ensure your wishes are carried out. By taking the time to carefully name your beneficiaries, you can give yourself peace of mind that your legacy will be remembered exactly as you wished.
Choosing An Executor
Besides beneficiaries, it’s also important to think about who should serve as the executor of your will. The executor is responsible for carrying out the instructions in the will and ensuring that all assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Georgia’s requirements for an executor include:
- At least 18 years of age
- Sound of mind
You may want someone close to you, such as a family member or friend, or you may prefer an impartial third party such as an attorney or financial advisor. You can have a beneficiary serve as your executor as well.
Keeping Your Beneficiaries Updated
Finally, it’s important to make sure that all of the people included in your will are aware of their responsibilities before signing off on the document. This ensures that everyone understands their role and can provide input if necessary, before finalizing the document.
It is also important to update your will every three to five years. By keeping it up to date with any changes to your family, beneficiaries, and other important life events, you are leaving your loved ones with a smooth plan of how to handle your assets after your passing.
Hire a Will Attorney
Writing your will is a crucial step in life that can provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind. However, the process can be complex and overwhelming, which is why seeking help from professional will attorneys is highly recommended.
If you’re looking for experienced guidance, Reed Leeper, P.C. is here to assist you. Our team of attorneys is committed to helping you create a will that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences. With our guidance, you can know that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.