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Who Should You Never Name As Beneficiary?

A beneficiary is someone you name in your will to receive the benefits of your estate. This includes any financial assets, property, and other possessions you may have. Beneficiaries are typically family members, such as a spouse, children, or other relatives. You can also name friends, charities, or other organizations as beneficiaries. But who should you never name as beneficiary?

Knowing how to name a beneficiary to your will is essential because it ensures that your wishes are followed after death. By naming beneficiaries of your choice, you can ensure that your assets and possessions are distributed according to your wishes. Without a will or beneficiary designation, the court will decide how to divide up your estate, which could be very different from what you had intended.

Beneficiary Designation

Beneficiary designations can become complicated if you have multiple beneficiaries or complex financial assets. It is essential to think carefully about who you name as a beneficiary. It would be best to consider the tax implications of naming a beneficiary, as some assets may be subject to taxation when transferred to a beneficiary. It may also be necessary to consult a lawyer or financial advisor to ensure that your beneficiary designation is legally valid.

Who Should You Never Name As Beneficiary: 7 Ideas

Choosing a beneficiary is an essential step in the estate planning process. A beneficiary is a person or organization receiving your assets when you pass away. It’s critical to carefully consider who you should name as your beneficiary and understand the process of naming a beneficiary.

1. Minors

Minors are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries because they are not legally able to accept the responsibility that comes with being a beneficiary. This includes managing their own finances, making legal decisions, and other important tasks. Furthermore, minors are not able to sign contracts or binding legal documents, nor can they be held liable for any financial or legal obligations. As such, they are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries.

2. Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries because the laws and regulations in the United States make it illegal to transfer assets to someone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident. This means that a non-U.S. citizen cannot benefit from an estate, trust, or will. Additionally, certain assets may be subject to additional taxes or restrictions when transferred to a non-U.S. citizen, so it is essential to ensure that any assets are transferred by United States law.

3. Convicted Felons

Convicted felons are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries because they may not legally access the funds or assets involved. In addition, the beneficiary of an estate or trust is typically entitled to certain rights and privileges, such as the right to receive distributions and to make decisions about how the assets are to be managed. A convicted felon may not be legally allowed to exercise those rights. Lastly, many states and countries have laws prohibiting convicted felons from operating or controlling the assets of another person, making it difficult for a convicted felon to be named as a beneficiary.

4. Business Entities

Business entities are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries because they do not have the legal capacity to receive the benefits of a trust or will. A trust or will is a legal document that distributes assets to individuals, not companies or other organizations. This is due to the concept of separate legal personality, which essentially states that a corporate entity is an independent legal person from its directors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. Therefore, only natural persons can be beneficiaries of a trust or will.

5. Non-Existent Individuals

Non-Existent Individuals cannot be named as beneficiary entities because they do not legally exist. Beneficiary entities must have a legal existence in order to be named as a beneficiary. Without a legal existence, the beneficiary would be unable to receive any assets or benefits from the arrangement.

6. Charities/Non-Profits

Charitable organizations or non-profit organizations cannot be named beneficiary entities because they are not legally recognized as individuals. They do not have the legal capacity to own and manage the property. Therefore, the court cannot recognize them as a beneficiary of an estate. Furthermore, even if a charity or non-profit organization is named as a beneficiary, the court cannot enforce the distribution of the estate to the organization without a valid legal document that stipulates the distribution of the estate.

7. Incapacitated Individuals

Incapacitated individuals are not allowed to be named as beneficiaries because they may not have the legal capacity to make decisions about using their inheritance. This is because they may be unable to understand the implications of their choices or make decisions that are in their best interests. Additionally, if the incapacitated individual has a legal guardian, that guardian must be the one to make decisions about the beneficiary’s inheritance.

When to Name a Beneficiary?

It’s a good idea to name a beneficiary when you set up specific accounts, like an IRA, 401(k), life insurance policy, or annuity. You should also name a beneficiary if you have a will or trust. If you don’t call a beneficiary, the assets in these accounts will pass according to the laws of intestate succession. This means the court will decide who gets your assets, which may not be who you want.

Who should be listed as Beneficiary?

Estate planning involves organizing and designing a plan for your assets’ future management, control, and disposal. It is essential to designate the beneficiaries of your estate, who will receive the assets upon your death. It is essential to understand that you have the right to choose your beneficiaries, and you can name any individual or entity you wish to be a beneficiary of your estate.

The following is a list of entities or individuals you can call as a beneficiary of your estate:

  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Charities
  • Friends
  • Relatives
  • Professional Advisors
  • Educational Institutions
  • Religious Organizations
  • Trusts
  • Executors or Trustees

Who should I put as my beneficiary if I’m single?

If you are single, you may designate anyone you choose as your beneficiaries, such as a family member, friend, charity, or organization. When choosing a beneficiary, consider who is most important to you and who will benefit the most from your assets. If you are uncertain about who to designate, consider consulting a financial adviser for guidance.

What happens if I didn’t name a beneficiary?

If you do not name a beneficiary in your estate planning, the assets in your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. This means that the assets in your estate will be divided according to the laws of the state where you live. Generally, the state statutes provide that the assets will be divided among the surviving spouse, children, and other heirs according to the state’s rules. If you do not have any surviving children or other heirs, the state’s laws may provide that the assets in your estate will pass to the state.

How to Name a Beneficiary Successfully?

Here are some steps you might wan to consider before naming your beneficiary in your estate planning:

  • Decide Which Assets to Assign to Your Beneficiary: Before naming a beneficiary, you must decide which assets you want to assign to that person.
  • Consider the Age of Your Beneficiary: When naming a beneficiary, you should also consider their age. This is especially important if you plan to assign a minor as your beneficiary.
  • Consider Your Beneficiary’s Financial Situation: Consider the financial situation of your beneficiary before assigning them as the recipient of your estate.
  • Consult With an Attorney: An attorney can help you determine the best way to assign your assets and ensure that your wishes are followed.
  • Name Your Beneficiary: Once you have decided which assets to assign and who to assign them to, you must legally name your beneficiary. You can name a beneficiary either through a will or through a trust.
  • Keep Your Beneficiary Up to Date: Once your beneficiary is named, you should review your estate plan periodically and update your beneficiary as needed.

Next Steps

Want to know more about estate planning? Check out our estate vs. tax planning comparison page to know what’s best for your investments.

About Valur

We have built a platform to give everyone access to the tax planning tools of the ultra-rich like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), Phil Knight (Nike founder), and others. Valur makes it simple and seamless for our customers to utilize the tax-advantaged structures that are otherwise expensive and inaccessible to build their wealth more efficiently.