Efficient and effective distribution of assets at death is a key goal of Christian estate planning. To accomplish that goal you must make provision for each and every beneficiary with whom you intend to share your estate.
Leaving everything to one beneficiary with the hope and/or expectation he or she knows what you want and will share your estate with the persons to whom you actually want your estate to pass is not a good idea. Legally, the named beneficiary has exclusive rights and full ownership over anything left to him or her by will or beneficiary designation at your death.
Even if your named beneficiary has every intention of carrying out your wishes, he or she could be in a situation at your death that prevents them from giving away what they inherit from you.
Unintended gift tax liability can also result from the “inheritor” giving away too much, all at once, to the others with whom you wanted your assets shared when you die.
Assure what you own at death will pass to the beneficiaries you intend by naming and including them specifically in your estate planning documents.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.