Wills: The Survivorship Period

Many wills have a clause in them known as the survivorship period. The survivorship period means that a beneficiary has to wait a certain amount of time after an individual dies before he can collect the assets that were left to him in the will. This basically means that he has to survive the deceased individual by a certain amount of time before he can get his inheritance. In most cases, the survivorship period is going to last somewhere between 30 and 90 days.

Transferring an entire estate can be a lengthy and detailed process. The survivorship period is basically so that this process can be avoided twice within a very short period of time. For example, if an individual died and the process of transferring the estate to a family member began and then that beneficiary died shortly after, the process would have to be started all over again. This would be a very costly proposition, and it would potentially eat up a large portion of the estate.

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