Understanding Your Rights as a Beneficiary of a Will or Trust

If you have been named as the beneficiary of a will or trust you probably have a lot of questions about what your next steps should be. At Palmer & Slay PLLC, we help beneficiaries in the Brandon, Mississippi area and beyond make sense of the probate or trust administration process. We work to protect beneficiary rights and ensure their loved one’s intentions are honored.  

What is a Beneficiary? 

When an individual creates a will or trust, they are essentially outlining their desires regarding the distribution of their assets upon death. Beneficiaries are those individuals who stand to benefit from the deceased person’s choices.

What are the Rights of a Beneficiary? 

The primary rights of beneficiaries in Mississippi include the right to timely notice of their status, the right to receive their designated share of the estate, and the right to challenge the validity or administration of the will or trust. 

The Right to Timely Notice

Beneficiaries in Mississippi have the right to receive timely notice regarding their status as inheritors. This notice typically includes information about the deceased, details about the will or trust, and a rundown of the specific assets the beneficiary is to receive. Being informed promptly allows beneficiaries to prepare for their role in the estate distribution process and ensures transparency in the execution of the deceased’s wishes.

Palmer & Slay’s attorneys frequently assist families with the probate, estate administration, and trust administration processes to ensure all beneficiaries are properly notified.

The Right to Receive the Designated Share

Whether given through a will or a trust, beneficiaries have a legal claim to the assets assigned to them by the deceased. 

The Palmer & Slay team has helped beneficiaries exercise this right and secure their share of the estate or trust in cases where distributions were delayed by disputes among heirs, legal challenges to the will or trust, or the complexity of the estate. 

The Right to Challenge the Will or Trust

Beneficiaries who are dissatisfied with the assets they are set to receive, or believe their loved one would not have wanted things to play out as they are, may find grounds to challenge the validity of the will or trust. 

Palmer & Slay’s attorneys help beneficiaries determine if a challenge is possible. Typically the beneficiary in these cases has evidence their loved one was improperly influenced or lacked the capacity to make sound decisions when their estate planning documents were executed. With that evidence, we can help bring a claim against the estate or trust, and negotiate or litigate until it is resolved. 

Beneficiaries may also bring a claim against an executor, administrator, or trustee they believe is not fulfilling their duties appropriately. Allegations of misconduct, such as mismanagement of assets or breach of fiduciary duty, can be serious concerns. Beneficiaries have the right to seek legal remedies to address such issues and ensure the proper administration of the estate.

Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones. 

If you have questions about being named the beneficiary of a will or trust, the Palmer & Slay team is here to help. Our experienced attorneys draft and administer estates for families through the Brandon, Mississippi area. We can help you get the answers you need while you process your loved one’s death and grieve their memory. Please contact us today to set up a meeting.