A will can serve as a way to name beneficiaries for someone’s most valuable resources, including their home, small business, vehicle and financial accounts. Wills also allow adults to name guardians for dependent family members.
Many people focus primarily on their largest assets and most vulnerable loved ones, and they may fail to properly address lesser concerns that could ultimately cause major issues for their estate. As a result, not including a remainderman in a will is a common mistake that testators make.
What is a remainderman?
Unless someone lives a truly minimalist lifestyle, they will inevitably have some personal property that they do not specifically address in their will. Household furniture, clothing, jewelry, collectibles, equipment for hobbies and other valuables may not seem significant enough to address individually in an estate plan.
However, those assets could be worth thousands of dollars. They might also be the source of intense disputes among beneficiaries. People may disagree about what should happen with those remaining assets. One family member might want to sell everything, while others might want to lay claim to assets for which there is some emotional value.
A remainderman is a technical term for the individual that will receive all of the remaining assets from someone’s estate after the specific property addressed in the will gets distributed to the beneficiaries. People can name multiple beneficiaries to retain those assets, or they can leave everything to one person. They can also leave instructions for the sale of personal property.
The details matter in every estate plan
People forget about how easy it is for family members to fight during times of emotional stress and also how much the property they live with could actually be worth. When someone fails to address their personal property in their will by naming a remainderman, they may deprive loved ones of value from their estate or may set up their family members for a dispute that causes lasting relationship damage.
Seeking legal guidance in order to better make sure that you’re including the right terms in a will can help to protect a testator and the people they love from unnecessary hardship and conflict.