Chicago, IL asked in Estate Planning for Illinois

Q: Does a third beneficiary need to put into a trust when there are two already?

There are two beneficiaries currently: daughter and granddaughter. Lawyer insists there needs to be third but the Grantor only wants the daughter and granddaughter on there.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wilmette, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: I think there is some confusion about what the attorney is likely asking.

Going only by your question, and having not seen the trust or the details, the grantor does need to add some information regarding additional beneficiaries. The missing blank which needs to be filled in is, what happens if the grantor and the two named beneficiaries all die at the same time (in a car accident, perhaps). While this may be unlikely, it can happen. Who gets the estate in that situation? The answer needs to be broad enough to give resolution, such as "to my family per stirpes" or "to a local charity, which rescues dogs", or "to my 'house of worship'".

I hope this helps.

1 user found this answer helpful

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