Survivorship Requirements in Your Will.


Survivorship Requirments in Your Will

It's a good idea for your estate plan (In your Will) to include a survivorship requirement for any beneficiaries.

A survivorship requirement means that a beneficiary cannot inherit from you unless he or she lives for a certain period of time longer than you do. In general, it’s a good idea to include a survivorship clause in your will or trust.

A “survivorship period” is a standard feature of many wills and trust documents. A survivorship clause states that beneficiaries named in your Will cannot inherit unless they live for a specific amount of time after the will- or trust-maker dies. This time is called a survivorship period, and commonly ranges from about five to 60 days. For example, a will might state that “a beneficiary must survive me for 45 days to receive property under this will.”It’s unusual to see a survivorship period longer than 60 days. If a survivorship period is more than 120 days, it could jeopardise the estate-tax-free transfer of assets from a deceased spouse to the survivor. Federal estate tax isn’t a concern for most people (more than 99.5% of estates don’t owe any tax), but even without the tax consequences, a long survivorship period isn’t necessary.

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