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What are beneficiaries in estate documents?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | Estate Planning |

Naming beneficiaries is an integral part of creating your estate plan in New York. Determining who will receive your assets after your passing will give you peace of mind. Choosing your beneficiaries takes considerable thought. Here are factors you should way when determining whose name to place on documents.

Who can I name as a beneficiary?

When embarking on estate planning, you can name anyone you desire as a beneficiary. The world comes from Latin, meaning someone who receives profits or advantages. Determining your beneficiaries gives you the final say over who will receive your death benefits. If you don’t designate any, the state of New York will determine who receives your assets. You can name any person as a beneficiary or even an organization or business.

Many account types require you to name a primary and a contingent beneficiary. The primary beneficiary, generally a spouse of an adult child, will receive your assets upon your death. A contingent beneficiary is an alternate person or organization who receives the proceeds of your account if none of your primary beneficiaries survive you. Some, but not all, accounts, depending on the investment, will allow you to name more than one beneficiary.

The components of an estate

Some people think only a will is necessary, especially if their estate is small. However, if you have a home or other real estate, ensuring that you have everything in place is essential to make estate administration easier for your executor.

Your estate is a fluid instrument that can change as your needs change. If you already have the necessary documents, reviewing them periodically to determine whether your beneficiaries are correct is essential. Your estate should also ensure that you have a steady income stream when your working days have ceased.