Don't Be Vague About Beneficiaries

Over a person's lifetime most people obtain a great many personal objects, whether they've lived for 100 years or just 50. And figuring out how and to whom you gift those items to in your trust or will is of vital importance. You cannot just make a blanket statement like, 'give all my stuff to my friends and whatever they don't want sell.' This really is not going to fly.

There is a similar case where a man said essentially that when creating a testamentary trust in his will. And he left it up to the trustee to distribute his assets how the trustee saw fit to do. The court did not look favorably upon this and ruled that the term 'friends' could mean anybody whereas if he had said family, at least there was a legal definition the court could rely on. So, the court ordered that the entire estate be distributed as a residual estate because the trustee could just give away any assets to anybody, even people the testator never knew.

Make sure to use a professional estate litigation Attorney when drafting wills and trusts. Then you can be sure that the lingo used will have real legal meaning and can be held up in court so your final wishes can be fulfilled.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.

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