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Residuary Estate Questions

What is a residuary estate?

A residuary estate is one that is left after all the debts, administration expenses and legacies of the estate are satisfied. It contains all property that may not be disposed by the will legally.

Are life insurance policies a part of the residuary estate?

Life insurance policies that have the names of beneficiaries on them may not be a part of the residuary estate. These will directly pass on to the beneficiaries on the death of the policy holder. They may not be used to repay any debts of the owner.

Would joint accounts be a part of a residuary estate?

Joint accounts may not be considered to be a part of an individual’s residuary estate. They would be passed onto the co-owner directly on the death of one of the owners.

Would any property that is not named in an individual’s will be a part of the residuary estate?

Any kind of property that is not mentioned in the will may be a part of the residuary estate. Most of the times, families of the deceased individual may decide how to distribute the property that is not there in the will. However, technically, this property may be passed onto the beneficiary on the death of the owner.

What language can an individual use to split his/her residuary estate equally among all the beneficiaries?

An individual may use the following language if they want to split their residuary estate equally among the beneficiaries: “I hereby direct my residuary estate to descend and be divided equally between my surviving children, X and Y. Should Y predecease me, I direct that their share shall descend and be equally divided between their children, A, B and C as well as D, the child of Z, who passed on Jan 1, 2000”

Is the estate split 50/50 among its beneficiaries always?

An estate need not be split 50/50 among its beneficiaries. The division of the property in an estate depends on the terms that are mentioned in the estate. In some cases, one beneficiary may be left with a larger amount than the other.

How can the property be distributed among the residuary beneficiaries if there is no agreement between them on the distribution?

If there are multiple residuary beneficiaries for an estate and they cannot come up with an agreement over the distribution of the property, then most of the times, the executor may get the property appraised and sell everything. The proceeds of the sale may then be equally distributed among all the beneficiaries.

What is a residuary clause?

A residuary clause is a clause in a will which states that any property that remains in the will after all the debts and costs are cleared may be disposed off.

Any property that remains in the estate after all the debts and bills are cleared needs to be distributed correctly among all the beneficiaries. Sometimes the provisions of the estate may be difficult to understand and can confuse the executor. Asking an Expert and getting any questions that may arise answered can help in better administration of the estate.

Ask an Estate Lawyer

Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Attorney
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3170
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
19305272
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
characters left:
4 Estate Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
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Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Thomas McJD
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 3076
Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters
Infolawyer
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 3781
Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
Barrister
Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 2188
13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate

Recent Residuary Estate Questions

  • My brother in NY, who takes care of my mother's finances, has

    My brother in NY, who takes care of my mother's finances, has put her house in his name to "protect it if she has to be put in a nursing home". My mother's will has me as the executor and all assets are to be split equally between my brother and me upon her death. If his name is ***** ***** her house, do I have any legal right to half of it after her death?
  • I found out my stepmother died about ten years ago. There

    I found out my stepmother died about ten years ago. There was a Living Will that my Dad and stepmother put together in the late 80's which stated (saw it at the time of my Dad's death in 1990) that should anything happen to both of them, the Will would be split equally between my stepbrother and myself. I was never contacted after my stepmother died. (I found out this info when I googled her name). I know she had items important to me that I never got, which are probably tossed by now. This has been bothering me for a long time. I have no idea where my stepbrother lives and no idea how I can begin to follow up on this issue. Is it too late now, considering it's been about 10 years, to find out what happened to my Dad's Will, which was ignored?
  • In my husband's will, the house we are living in is left to

    In my husband's will, the house we are living in is left to me as his wife, can this be contested by his children from a previous marriage?
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