Residuary Clause In Will

If you want all of your worldly possessions transferred to your spouse upon your death and then to your children when both you and your spouse have died, a residuary clause may help you achieve your goals. A residuary clause is important in most situations because it helps dispose of the property that have not been disposed of by other provisions. You need an experienced estate planning attorney to advise you on adding a residuary clause to your Will.

Residue And Residuary Clause

“Residue” is a legal term that stands for everything that is left of the estate after payment of funeral fees, taxes, debts, executor’s fees, other estate administration expenses, and after all specific gifts and bequests have been made and all claims of the estate are satisfied. The residuary clause identifies the person or persons that will inherit any residue.  In most situations, the residue of a testator’s estate passes to their spouse in case no specific gifts have been made in the Will. The following is an example of a residuary clause:

“I will, devise, bequeath and give all the rest and remainder of my property and estate of every kind and character, including, but not limited to, real and personal property in which I may have an interest at the date of my death and which is not otherwise effectively disposed of, to …”

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How People Use A Residuary Clause

Residuary Clause ExampleA residuary clause can prove useful in a situation where a beneficiary who was supposed to inherit part of the testator’s property as recorded in the testator’s Will, dies before the testator.  You need to specify at least one residuary beneficiary in a situation where the original beneficiary dies before the testator. Another situation where a residuary clause could prove useful is when a testator acquires new property after drafting a Will. That property will pass to residuary beneficiaries after the testator dies.

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Problems With Wills That Only Have Specific Gifts

The problem with Wills that only include specific gifts is that they often leave out property the testator acquires after the Will is signed. Another thing is that they do offer any alternative beneficiary in a situation where a beneficiary dies before the testator. Non-probate assets can also end up reverting to the probate estate if no beneficiary is identified on the insurance policy. What this means is that your property may end up in the hands of people you may have omitted from your Will.

Naming Beneficiaries And Inheritors In Your Will

You need to decide how the assets will be distributed if you have multiple beneficiaries in your Will. Some testators distribute assets equally among beneficiaries while others choose the unequal method of distribution. You can also distribute by stipulating that a certain asset should pass to a certain individual after your death. Another common method is where the testator specifies that all the assets should be sold and the proceeds distributed equally. You should talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer to find out the method that may be suitable for your situation.

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Residuary Clause Example