The different categories of beneficiary 

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2023 | Estate And Trust Administration

A beneficiary is an individual who is legally entitled to inherit something when a person dies. Generally, this is carried out via the instructions of a will.

Nonetheless, different beneficiaries may receive different sums of money or assets. There are several types of beneficiaries in a will, as outlined below. 

Specific beneficiaries 

A specific beneficiary is usually left a particular item in a will. This item cannot be confused or substituted with other assets. For example, if you were left a collectible piece of art, then this is what you should inherit as a specific beneficiary in the will. 

General beneficiaries 

General beneficiaries are usually entitled to a sum of money from the will, but this doesn’t need to come from specific sources. For example, if you have been left the sum of $10,000, then this is what you are entitled to. The money can come from savings accounts, investments, stocks and bonds etc. 

Demonstrative beneficiaries  

A demonstrative beneficiary is typically entitled to a certain sum of money from a specific source. For instance, if the will states that you are entitled to receive $15,000 dollars from a savings account. 

If the money is no longer in the account, then you may be able to claim that you’re entitled to this from the rest of the estate. This would change your status to general beneficiary. 

Residuary beneficiaries 

Residual beneficiaries are usually not entitled to a specific amount. Rather, they are entitled to a percentage of the final estate once all taxes, debts and other obligations are paid. 

As a beneficiary, you are entitled to receive your inheritance, but this isn’t always easy. To ensure that your loved one’s final wishes are honored, it may benefit you to seek legal guidance.