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Can a beneficiary transfer assets directly to a person not named in the will?

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Can a beneficiary transfer assets directly to a person not named in the will?
When my father passed, he left an apartment to myself, my brother, and one other person equally. Once the estate has gone through probate, my brother wants his share of the property to go to his son. He doesn't want the property to be registered under his name, and instead wants it to be transferred directly to his son. Can this be done, or will it have to be transferred into his name first, and then to his son?

Transfer of asset to non-beneficiary - Nicco Bautista's answer

Generally, an estate asset cannot be transferred to someone who is not a beneficiary of the will. If the property was a specific gift to a beneficiary, the executor does not have the authority to deviate from the terms of the will.

However, there may be situations where the property forms part of the residue of the estate, and the residual beneficiary directs the executor to transfer his or her beneficial interest in the residual asset to someone else, and releases the executor from any liability for doing so. This is a rather unique scenario and specialized legal and tax advice should be sought.

Written March 15, 2018

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