If I have stock and added beneficiaries different from what my Will states, who get’s the stock – the beneficiaries or the individuals in the Will?

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If I have stock and added beneficiaries different from what my Will states, who get’s the stock – the beneficiaries or the individuals in the Will?

Asked on January 25, 2016 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A Will can only convey that which the deceased owned as of the date of their death. And when there is a designated beneficiary listed on a stock certificate, that means upon the owner's death, the beneficiary becomes the new owner, therefore the stock does not become part of the probate estate. Accordingly, since the beneficiary has automatic rights to the stock, the deceased will no longer had anything to covey under the Will. Bottom line, the stock designation prevails over the terms of the Will.


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