When you create your estate plan, you put a lot of time and consideration into the important people who are named in that plan.
This includes naming guardians for your minor child, a power of attorney agent, trust beneficiaries and the executor or personal representative who is responsible for carrying out your wishes after you pass away. What happens, however, if you don’t have backup beneficiaries and executors? You must plan to include at least one alternative beneficiary in case your named beneficiary does not outlive you or is unable to claim benefits under the will. If your will names a person who is unable to take possession of the property, your assets might pass as though you did not have a will altogether.
State law known as intestate succession will determine who gets your property and you will not be able to express these wishes nor will your family members on your behalf. By naming an alternate beneficiary, you can ensure that the property goes on to the person you want to receive it. Since you will also be naming an executor who is responsible for handling probate administration in your estate, carefully consider a primary executor and at least one backup executor in the event that your primary executor is unable to serve for any reason at all.
If you find yourself answering further questions about the estate planning process and needing more support, contact a dedicated estate planning attorney in your area to learn more.