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Organizations and Friends as Beneficiaries: Leaving Money After Death

Dec 21, 2020 | Estate Planning


  • Non-children, organizations, and friends as beneficiaries are all possible options when splitting your assets.
  • You can give a nominal amount of money or a percentage to each person.
  • Be mindful that giving a percentage may leave an undesired amount of money to some, if final asset amounts change in the future.

Today’s video is going to be answering the questions, “Is it possible to have organizations, non-children, or friends as beneficiaries? And how should I leave money and assets among them?”

Organizations and Friends as Beneficiaries

First of all, yes you can leave money and assets to organizations, charities, non-relatives, and/or friends! Your assets don’t have to solely be divided among your children, or kept within the family only. But let’s talk about how you can, or should leave your assets among them all. When someone says they want to leave money to someone that is not their child, I’m going to assume for the moment that what you’re talking about is an amount that is less, generally, than the amount that you would leave for your children.

Dividing the Assets

For example purposes, let’s assume you want to leave 100,000 to the ABC charity and $100,000 to the XYZ charity. Great, love it. I’m all for charitable giving, but there’s a concern with that.

Let’s imagine something catastrophic happens to your estate, and after you die, there’s nothing but $300,000. Well, $100,000 is going to go charity ABC, $100,000 is going to the charity XYZ, and there’s going to be $100,000 to divide among your children. You may say yourself, “Hm. That’s not exactly what I wanted.” Well, there is a way to fix that, two ways.

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One way is to say that you only are going to leave a nominal amount ‑‑ let’s say $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000 to each charity. Let’s use that as an example. Great. That pretty much ensures that there’s going to be enough money left over to divide equally among the kids, even after paying the charity.

Nominal vs. Percentage Amounts

Perhaps, an even better way to do it is the following ‑‑ percentages. Because if you say, “I want to leave 20 percent to charity A and 20 percent to charity Z,” then that means 20 and 20 is 40. That means, no matter what, there’s always going to be 60 percent left to divide among your kids, OK? That way, it’s done in a percentage.

If there’s a smaller amount in your estate, then yes, they get the same percentage, but it’s percentages of a smaller amount. That helps cure the issue of more money going out to the charities.

When I say charities, I could just as easily be saying that maybe you want to leave a percentage amount to your favorite niece, your favorite nephew, maybe to your brother, to your sister, even to your mother. We’ve helped clients to leave money to a family, to a father, or a parent if they were still living.

We at Fouts Law Group focus on asset protection for you and for your family. We specialize in that. We are not general practitioners. We want to share our knowledge with you. We want you to have a plan that actually functions and doesn’t just look pretty.

Give us a call if you’d like to schedule a free consultation. When you come in, I’ll also give you a copy of my book. It is a real book available on Amazon, but you won’t have to pay for it. It’s called “Estate Planning in Georgia,” how to leave your assets in a smart way and protect it.

Want to learn more about protecting your assets and life savings? Attend our free online workshop today!
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