Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Maine

heir vs beneficiary

my question is this my sister and I received papers from my great Aunts estate stating we are heirs from her estate lawyer who was elected personal repersentive. She has a inter-vivos trust and a trustee of that. She had no children of her own so she left everything to her nieces and nephews. Our father was a beneficiary but he predeceased her . The lawyer told us we were getting our fathers share, But the trustee of the trust said we were not beneficarys. What I need to know is what is the difference between a heir and a beneficiary.

Asked on 8/03/08, 6:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jerome Gamache Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice, P.A.

Re: heir vs beneficiary

If you are a beneficiary, you are named in a Will or Trust as a recipient. If you are an heir, you have sufficient blood or marital relationship to the deceased to potentially receive property under the law. It is therefore possible in many instances to be both. However, it is also possible that you, as an heir, could otherwise receive property but the last Will disinherits all heirs and leaves all assets to a charity.

I am not sure what difference the terminology makes in your instance.

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Answered on 8/04/08, 9:12 am

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