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Beneficiary Rights Questions

What is a beneficiary?

When it comes to trusts or wills, a beneficiary is the person that are entitled to any trust arrangement or things that are in a will. A beneficiary is normally a natural person, but can be a company if it is a trust, which normally happen in sophisticated commercial transaction structures. In most cases, there are no set guidelines for who can be a beneficiary of a trust or will. Beneficiaries can be a minor and some people will even set up trusts for their unborn children.

If a person is the beneficiary of a will, can a rift in the family stop the beneficiary from the right to be provided with amount of estate, bills, and final payment?

If the person is a beneficiary of a will, then there is nothing that should disrupt the rights of the person being the beneficiary. The will is the controlling factor, and any family rift cannot change the will as long as the will was valid. The beneficiary id entitled to whatever the person that made the will has set forth for them to be entitled to.

If a person’s sibling dies and does not have a will, is the person’s spouse entitled to give the sibling any information?

The spouse of the deceased does not have to divulge any information regarding the deceased person’s information unless there is a will that names a beneficiary other than the husband. If the siblings of the deceased wants to know the information, or they have a claim against the estate, then they would need to wait for the estate to go through probate to find out the information that they seek due to the information being public information. The spouse of the deceased should bring the probate proceedings very soon after the spouse’s death.

If a parent passes away and names 2 of the 6 children in the trust as beneficiaries, shouldn’t the other children have equal rights and is the trust legal?

When it comes to the trust and names of the beneficiaries, as long as the parent was of sound mind when the trust was created, then the trust would be considered legal. If the parent set aside a certain set of distribution instructions, then the property or the assets does not have to be equal among all the children.

What is the Florida statute that regards estate executors be required to disclose their fees to the beneficiaries of the estate?

According to Florida Statute, Chapter 733; “Inventories and accountings; public records exemptions. (1)(a) Unless an inventory has been previously filed, a personal representative shall file a verified inventory of property of the estate, listing it with reasonable detail and including for each listed item its estimated fair market value at the date of the decedent’s death. (b)1. Any inventory of an estate, whether initial, amended, or supplementary, filed with the clerk of the court in conjunction with the administration of an estate is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 2. Any inventory of an elective estate, whether initial, amended, or supplementary, filed with the clerk of the court in conjunction with an election made in accordance with part II of chapter 732 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 3. Any accounting, whether interim, final, amended, or supplementary, filed in an estate proceeding is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24 (a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 4. Any inventory or accounting made confidential and exempt by subparagraph 1. subparagraph 2., or subparagraph 3. shall be disclosed by the custodian for inspection or copying: a. To the personal representative; b. To the personal representative’s attorney; c. To an interested person as defined in s. 731.201; or d. By court order upon a showing of good cause. 5. These exemptions apply to any inventory or accounting filed before, on, or after July 1, 2009. 6. This paragraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2014, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. (2) If the personal representative learns of any property not included in the original inventory, or learns that the estimated value or description indicated in the original inventory for any item is erroneous or misleading, the personal representative shall file a verified amended or supplementary inventory showing any new items and their estimated value at the date of the decedent’s death, or the revised estimated value or description. (3) Upon written request to the personal representative, a beneficiary shall be furnished a written explanation of how the inventory value for an asset was determined, or, if an appraisal was obtained, a copy of the appraisal, as follows: (a) To a residuary beneficiary or Heir in an intestate estate, regarding all inventoried assets. (b)To any other beneficiary, regarding all assets distributed or proposed to be distributed to that beneficiary.”

When it comes to beneficiaries of wills or trusts the laws maybe confusing and the beneficiary. Questions can arise and an individual may not know where to turn, these individual can receive outside information and insight when they consult in an Experts answers dealing with beneficiary duties.
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Recent Beneficiary Rights Questions

  • My mother purchased a life insurance policy with a rider attached

    My mother purchased a life insurance policy with a rider attached to cover my father 20 years ago with my mother as primary benficiary. 9 years ago my parents divorced and just prior to the divorce she claimed to my father and to me and my sister that she terminated the policy. Looking at the divorce decree there it does not say that my mother retains beneficiary rights and does not mention the policy on my father in the property settlement agreement. There was no alimony or child support agreement. Would my mother's beneficiary status be revoked under NJSA 3B:3-14 if she has been secretly paying the premiums for the past 9 years and would the funds go to the contingent beneficiaries or to my father's estate?
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  • On July 31, 2013 I asked a question concerning my parents trust.

    On July 31, 2013 I asked a question concerning my parents trust. The trustee has taken the position that since Mom is still living and resigned as trustee she is the sole beneficiary at this time. The trustee is the youngest child and feels that the other children have no beneficiary rights until the time when Mom dies. Is that correct or would the other 3 children be considered "qualified" beneficiaries? Thank you.
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