3 Reasons Why You Should Name Alternates in Your Will

will and probate

Creating a will is one of the most important things you can do in life. This legal document protects you, your spouse, your children, grandchildren and your estate when you either become incapacitated or when you die. A will is only as strong as the content featured in it and this goes for the people named in the will for various responsibilities. Let’s take a look at three reasons why you should name alternates in your will in today’s post so you can avoid mistakes from the start.

1. Protect Your Minor Children

One of the most important reasons to name alternates in your will is to protect your children. Simply naming a guardian for your children does not protect them enough from winding up in the wrong situation. What if something happens to the person you named as guardian before you can update the will? Even though it’s unlikely that you will need to enact the provisions of the will before the children reach legal adulthood, you still need to protect them as much as possible. Naming alternate guardians adds another layer of protection for you and your children should you pass before being able to update the will.

2. Prevent Assets from Going to the Wrong Person

People name specific beneficiaries in their will for a reason. They want their niece, nephew, grandchild, or friend to receive certain assets upon their death. Naming an alternate beneficiary prevents the assets from going to the wrong person if the original beneficiary has died and you never updated your will.

It’s important to name a beneficiary of your assets, but it’s even more important to name an alternate. Why? What if the beneficiary named passes away before you do and you never update your will? The assets from your estate will wind up with the wrong person. This won’t happen if you name an alternate beneficiary, who automatically becomes the primary beneficiary upon the death of the original person named.

3. Avoid the State Dividing Your Estate

Should your primary beneficiary die before you, and you fail to update your will, the state of New Jersey will then divide your estate according to the laws on the books. This very well could wind up costing your estate a large portion of assets that might wind up going to New Jersey. Or, those assets could be divided by the state amongst any other surviving family members you left behind at the time of your death. The purpose of creating a will in the first place is to make the decisions yourself, while of sound mind, so no one can tell your loved ones what they will or will not be receiving.

Contact a Cinnaminson Wills & Probate Attorney Today

As you can see, it is important for your dependents and heirs that you name alternate beneficiaries in your will when it is created. If you are getting ready to create a will it’s important that you seek the help of an experienced Cinnaminson wills & probate attorney. Contact the office of Trish Davis, Esquire in Burlington County at 856-829-9204 to schedule a consultation today.