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An estate with many beneficiaries can be complicated

When a person sets up their estate plan, they usually name beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can be anyone but are usually close family members. However, when a person doesn't have a family to leave their assets to, they can name organizations and friends as beneficiaries. In the case of 'Frasier' dad, John Mahoney, there were dozens of beneficiaries named.

The dad in the hit TV show 'Fraser' died in February. His estate is worth more than $5 million and there appear to be at least 38 beneficiaries. John Mahoney never married and didn't have children but left his estate to his extended family and friends. With such a long list of beneficiaries, the probate process can become complicated. Before the assets are distributed, the estate's debts need to be covered, including funeral costs. Beneficiaries may also be asked to sign a statement saying they accept the amount they receive, which can protect the executor in the future against claims that a beneficiary did not receive the right amount of assets.

Those who are involved in a complicated beneficiary matter may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in probate litigation. These matters may not be as easy as distributing a set amount of assets to each beneficiary. There can be factors that heirs and beneficiaries may not know about or they may not receive what they are supposed to receive. An attorney can assist their client through these probate matters and make sure their client's rights are protected. An attorney understands estate and probate intricacies and can make sure their client receives everything they are entitled to.

When a person is a beneficiary of a loved one's estate, they trust that their portion of the assets will be fairly distributed. Sometimes, these probate matters are complicated and require the assistance of a legal professional.

Source:, "What to do if you're like one of 'Frasier' dad John Mahoney's 38 beneficiaries," Alessandra Malito, March 29, 2018

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