Questions to Ask When Selecting an Estate Beneficiary

Estate planning is a tough subject but it’s an important one. Our estate planning attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks has seen the benefit first hand as we help families establish and carry out an estate plan. We know this isn’t the most pleasant thing to talk about, but it can help ensure your exact wishes are carried out. As you start creating an estate plan near the Lake of the Ozarks, you’ll want to have beneficiaries in mind. A beneficiary is someone who receives an asset of yours when you pass away. There are a number of different factors to consider when deciding upon a beneficiary. Take a look below to learn a few tips on selecting the right estate beneficiary for your unique situation.


How is our relationship?

A strong relationship is a great place to start when deciding who your estate beneficiary will be. If you are selecting more than one person, think about the people who are closest to you. Common beneficiaries are children, relatives, close friends, and charitable organizations. As you create your estate plan, keep in mind you can split different assets between each person or group, as you choose. We can help ensure your exact wishes are carried out with your estate plan.

Are they of age to receive funds?

If the person you are wishing to be your beneficiary is under the age of 18, you may need to assign the assets to go to a trust for that person’s benefit. This can also be done if someone is over the age 18 but you don’t feel they are responsible enough to handle a large sum of money at one time. 

Is this person responsible with money?

As you select a beneficiary you may think about the responsibility level of each individual. Even young adults who are over the age of 18 can still struggle with a large amount of money. The temptation may be too great to spend it on something frivolous or act irresponsibly with the asset they inherit. If you are worried about one or more of your beneficiaries, you can put certain contingencies on their asset distribution. It can either be put off until they reach a certain age or be given in small amounts over the course of time. This can help ensure that individual receives the gift but helps safeguard your assets from being spent right away.


Are they impulsive?

An impulsive personality may not be able to handle your assets with care. If someone is truly impulsive and irresponsible, you may consider putting contingencies on their inheritance, as mentioned before – or selecting someone else completely to be a beneficiary on your estate.

Whatever your circumstances, it is always a good time to visit with an estate planning attorney.  We know that cookie-cutter estate planning forms, such as wills and durable powers of attorney, are available to you with the click of a button and at a cost that is next to nothing.  But our lives are not stamped out by a cookie-cutter and everyone’s family, circumstances and wishes are different and deserve to be recognized as such.  At O’Donnell Law Center, we pride ourselves on quick and easy delivery of estate planning documents that incorporate your personal circumstances and we do it at a competitive and affordable price.  We will also instruct you in making non-probate transfers so that you can help your loved ones avoid the time and expense of probating your will.



We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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