What is the difference between an heir and a beneificary?

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What is the difference between an heir and a beneificary?

My 80 year old father lives in NV. His Will state  that his estate is to be distributed evenly between his 4 daughters, 1 of whom is also the executor. So will the 4 daughters receive the assets evenly? Or will the 1 daughter who is listed as the beneficiary receive the assets?

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have made conflicting statements here.  But first some clarification.  A beneficiary of an estate is someone who is generally named in the Last Will and Testament of the decedent and is given something in the Will.  An heir is someone that will inherit if there is not Last Will and Testatment (if someone is said to have died "intestate").   So you and your sisters are heirs "at law" meaning that you would inherit equally under the law if there were no Will.  Now, you claim here that his Will has his estate being distributed equally between you.  But then you say that one of you is listed a the beneficiary (and I am thinking sole beneficiary) of the estate under the Will.  Which is it?  I think you need to take a copy to someone in your area to review and explain to you  Good luck.


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