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Can I name a nonfamily member as my will beneficiary?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Estate Planning

Creating a suitable estate plan requires thorough research and goal setting. There are several decisions that a testator has to make, one of which is to decide who will inherit their assets when they die. Normally, individuals choose their spouses, children and other family members as beneficiaries. But sometimes, we also create special relationships with people outside of our family tree. This is why some estate planners consider naming a nonfamily member in their will.

Relation by blood is not necessary

Testators are free to specify in their wills how they want administrators to distribute their assets. This includes choosing the people who will be on the receiving end of the estate distribution. The beneficiary can be anyone, including people who are nonfamily to the testator. A decedent’s friend, caretaker or favorite charity can receive the former’s assets as long as there is a valid will and the will is executed properly.

Can it be a ground for a will contest?

As long as the will naming a nonfamily member as beneficiary follows the requirements set by Florida laws, the terms of the will are valid. There are several grounds to challenge a will, including fraud, coercion, undue influence and failure to meet the state requirements for a valid will. However, a nonfamily member being a beneficiary is not one of them.

If you are looking into passing down your assets to a friend or someone not necessarily blood-related to you, you have to carefully draft your will and ensure that you follow state requirements. You may consult with a will expert if you come across confusing legal terms or simply want to create an ironclad will.