Senior couple with their two adult children

Choosing & Updating Your Beneficiaries: What to Know

In estate planning, a beneficiary is any person who is eligible to receive assets belonging to an individual after their death. When making your estate plan, you can choose to name one or multiple beneficiaries.

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Who Should I Choose as My Beneficiaries?

Who you choose as your beneficiary or beneficiaries will depend on your individual situation and wishes. However, you should always choose people who you trust and know very well. Many people name their spouse, children, siblings, other relatives, or close friends as their beneficiaries. Often, people will also name a charity as a beneficiary in order to give to a cause that is close to their heart.

What if I want to Change or Add Beneficiaries?

As your life progresses, it is natural that the people you are close to may change. You might get married, or you might get divorced. You might have children or grandchildren. As your life evolves, you may find yourself wanting to change your beneficiaries to reflect this.

You can, and likely should, change and add beneficiaries to your will as your circumstances change. It is recommended that all adults have a will, and it makes sense that your beneficiaries are likely to change from when you are 25 years old to when you are 65 years old, because you may get married, have children, and even grandchildren in that time. Wills should be continually updated as your life changes.

It is essential that any updates to your will are made properly so that they are legally valid. Many times, people will make handwritten, DIY amendments to their will, but the amendments are not deemed valid by the court. In this case, the previous version of the will would be recognized and the deceased’s most recent wishes would not be followed.

When you wish to remove or add a beneficiary to your will, always get the help of a lawyer. This ensures that the will is amended in such a way that it will be deemed legally binding by the courts and you can rest assured that your wishes will be followed. Our lawyers at Munro & Crawford have decades of experience working with clients to create and amend wills accordingly to put their wellbeing first. Get in touch today to learn more.

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