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Listing more than one beneficiary in estate planning

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Estate Planning |

When estate planning in South Carolina, your will is a legal document that will designate who receives your belongings and assets upon your death. You may prefer to list a single beneficiary, or you can list several beneficiaries if you’d like to divide your assets among multiple people or entities.

Who can be a beneficiary?

A beneficiary can be any individual or entity you’d like to receive your death benefit. After all, the assets and belongings that will be distributed are things you’ve worked hard for. Examples of beneficiaries include:

  • A single person
  • Two or more people
  • A charity you’d like to support
  • A trustee

Whether you’d like to name one or multiple beneficiaries, each beneficiary must still be living. As a general rule of thumb, a beneficiary should not be an individual who serves as a witness whenever you’re signing your estate planning documents.

How to choose your beneficiaries

Deciding who should inherit your assets when you die is something that only you can decide. Many people choose a spouse or a close family member to provide them with an inheritance that will make their lives more comfortable. On the other hand, others choose to list a charitable organization as a beneficiary to create a lasting legacy.

If you prefer, you can have the best of both worlds and opt to name multiple beneficiaries to your will. If you go this route, you’ll need to describe how your assets should be divided among each of your beneficiaries.

Getting help with the estate planning process

For assistance naming beneficiaries in your will, you may want to contact an estate planning attorney. An attorney may help you navigate each detail of planning your estate and then periodically update your will whenever major life changes occur.