Despite the essential role they play in families and in society, less than half of adults in the United States have a will!
Everyone should have a will prepared and know a few basic facts about how to know if they’re the beneficiary of a will. It’s also important to know about the importance of the will’s writer having a sound mind.
What Is a Beneficiary?
When someone writes up a will, they have to decide where their belongings will go in the event of their death. For example, they could leave a home to a child, money to a friend, special possessions to family members, or their investments to a charity.
Whatever the case, you can define beneficiaries as the people or entities designated to receive something from the will. Some wills have many beneficiaries, and others have only one.
How to Find Out If You’re a Beneficiary in a Will
In modern times, it is not necessary to gather all of the beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of a will together to hear its reading.
These days, the estate attorney will consult the will and determine who needs to receive a copy of the will. That can include guardians and executors and others, but it will also include the beneficiaries of the will.
What If the Writer of the Will Is Not of Sound Mind?
For a will to be valid, there are a few requirements. A legally binding will must be signed and it has to be executed in the presence of two adult witnesses.
The two witnesses will also sign the will. Crucially, however, the witnesses must be disinterested parties. In other words, they must not have written the will and they must not be beneficiaries of the will.
Importantly, the writer of a will must also be of sound mind for the will to be legal. If the will of a person is prepared when they are not of sound mind, then it may legally fail to transfer ownership to the wills’ beneficiary or beneficiaries.
Being of sound mind means that a person can understand what is happening around them. While not being of sound mind is unfortunately more common in older people, most older people are still of completely sound mind.
If a will is not worded correctly, it may also fail then to transfer property to the intended beneficiaries, even if the owner is of sound mind. That’s why the will wording is so important. Getting the legalese exactly right so that the deceased’s wishes are properly respected requires careful professional help.
In fact, not only for this, but for all other legal needs, you’ll need qualified and skilled advice like Elder Law attorneys to make sure you’re covering all of your bases. Founded in 2006, they have employed an efficient results-oriented strategy to help make sure that you have your needs taken care of swiftly and with fastidious attention to detail.
Know What to do If You’re the Beneficiary of a Will
The imminent or recent passing of a loved one is never a good time to have to work through the difficult details of the law. We hope that this piece has helped make it easier for you to understand how to react to being named the beneficiary of a will.
To keep up to date on the latest developments in law, health, technology, and more, check out our other pages.