Naming the Right Beneficiary

1st February 2021

We have previously talked about the importance of putting in place a Will and the difficulties that can arise if this is not done, but it is important when considering who you would like to benefit under your Will that the beneficiaries are correctly identified.

This issue often comes to light in relation to gifts to Charities for example as it can be easy sometimes to get an institution’s name wrong or talk in general terms about research or gifts to a particular area rather than a specific Charity.

In some cases, the true intention can be identified by the wording of the Will itself, taking into account the overall context and possibly the deceased’s known association with a particular Charity or institution during their lifetime.  However, this is not always the case.

This can create considerable problems when it comes to dealing with the Estate after someone has died as it is not always clear who the intended beneficiary is. This can lead to competing claims and difficulties for the Executors in administering the Estate, not to mention additional delays and costs.

Similar problems can also arise with gifts to categories of people, whether that includes certain relatives, friends or others.  It is all too easy for broad, general terms to be used and whilst the person making the Will may know who they mean, it is not always evident after their death.

With this in mind, it is always worth checking these details and for example, looking at a Charity’s registration number to positively identify the charity you intend to benefit when the Will is prepared.

If you would like to discuss the preparation of your Will, or indeed are dealing with someone’s Estate and have questions regarding the terms of their Will, please contact Patrick Green on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or

Patrick Green

Patrick Green

Senior Associate