What is The Role of a Beneficiary in Estate Planning?

In terms of estate planning, designating beneficiaries is a crucial aspect of making sure your loved ones are well taken care of after your death. Beneficiaries will receive profits, assets, gifts and other benefits from the deceased’s estate. If you’re named a beneficiary in your decedent’s will, you’ll have to fulfill some responsibilities and rights. Read on to learn about the responsibilities a beneficiary needs to perform.

Learn About the Trust

The assets and the property of the deceased are managed by the trust. The trust transfers the benefits and assets to the people named in the trust. If you’re named as a beneficiary, it’s important to learn about the trust. You might also have to check with an attorney while going through the trust’s terms and conditions to make sure you’re completely familiar with them.

Learn About Accounting

As a beneficiary, you’re entitled to key information about the trust and assets, including the accounting paperwork. You can request detailed accounts, particularly if you suspect a problem with the fiduciary’s execution of the trust. If the fiduciary is found to be violating their responsibilities or fails to properly document their activities, you have the right to take legal action. You can also remove the fiduciary and ask for a replacement. This action can be handled by filing a petition in the relevant probate court.

Person signing documents

Tax Consequences and Financial Interests

Income tax does not apply to most assets a beneficiary receives through inheritance, except for some retirement accounts. But the beneficiary might have to pay income tax if the trust generates income. You can learn about your tax liabilities with the help of an estate attorney.

Understand the Limits of Trustee’s Authority

Your fiduciary will have many responsibilities and obligations. You must be aware of what these responsibilities entail. A trustee has some freedom to practice discretion, but not beyond reason. For instance, a trustee can’t refuse to dispense an allowance or deposit as specified by a will.

If the fiduciary breaches the terms of the trust, you can take several actions as a distressed beneficiary. In this case, you can claim damages, recovery of trust property, or order to restrain a breach, among others. For instance, the beneficiary might be able to reclaim the estate from a third party, if the fiduciary tries to control trust property unfairly.

Looking for an estate law attorney Queens, estate law attorney Brooklyn or New York City area? Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. can provide beneficiaries with the legal guidance they need and protect their rights. Our excellent estate planning NYC can help you and your heirs throughout the estate planning. Contact us to hire our expert estate attorneys.



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What is The Role of a Beneficiary in Estate Planning?

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
What is The Role of a Beneficiary in Estate Planning?

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