A Will is a legal document that specifies the beneficiaries who are to inherit your assets either outright or in trust. It is a good idea to consider the possibility that any beneficiary that you name in your will might die before you. If so, you can name an alternative beneficiary who will receive the asset.
For example, your Will could state: “I give all my Burlington County real estate to my sister, Anne Smith, but if she does not survive me, all my Burlington County real estate shall pass to my cousin, Joel Smith.”
Another alternative beneficiary is a trust to hold assets for a person who you deem not old enough to have an asset outright. For example, your Will could state, “I give my collection of hunting rifles to my son, Robert Smith, but if he has not yet reached the age of 18, the rifles shall be held by my brother, Daniel Smith, until my son Robert reaches the age 18.”
Alternate beneficiaries also include trusts to hold assets for person who are special needs and receiving government benefits. Though the specific language is to complicated to place here, your Will could state that if a beneficiary is receiving government needs-based benefits, the inheritance passes into a Special Needs Trust, so the beneficiary has the benefit of the inheritance but is still able to qualify for the needs-based government program.
A Will is a powerful and useful document, but it need be drafted with a thorough understanding of your entire estate and consider the possibility that your heirs might not outlive you.
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