Selecting your beneficiaries is often thought of as a minor importance.
Beneficiaries will receive your assets of at least a Dollar or an estate worth millions. Some critical considerations need to be put into the selection of beneficiaries. Normally selecting the beneficiaries and their percentages is not a problem.
I feel strongly that this should be done correctly. My reasons are that I have seen some individuals receive an inheritance that they should have not. In other instance’s I’ve seen where the intended beneficiary was cut out because the designations were incorrect or out of date.
After death, there are no changes,
regardless if it’s correct or not.
It becomes complicated when we Marry, Divorce, Re Marry, have extended families. That’s just the basics. Often retiree’s have lost a spouse and have become a partner with another for a multitude of reasons. They consider each other’s children as their own. Life is enjoyable. But there are no legal benefits as a non-spouse. State laws are changing regarding this problem and they need to be considered in your estate planning and selection of a beneficiaries list.
If you have divorced or remarried. Take the time to review your beneficiaries. If you pass away with a divorced spouse still as your beneficiary, she/he will receive the asset. No questions. Check your insurance plans, Pension plans, real estate – anything that may have an old beneficiary on it.
If you have concerns, they may possibly be covered with various trusts that can be used. A trust can be used when concerned about the responsibility of a child. If there is a special needs person receiving any government funds or care. By inheriting a large sum of assets may make them ineligible to continue the assistance. This can be resolved with a Special Needs Trust to receive the inherited assets.
A Designated Beneficiary is somewhat unique. Different from a list in the trust or will. They are chosen by you. In any insurance policy you have, those are Designated Beneficiaries.
You have designated them to receive the assets. Also you may create them on your bank accounts or financial institutions by using either the TOD or POD (Transfer on Death or Pay on Death). With the use of a Designated Beneficiary, they are paid directly without question. They are not contestable and avoid probate. They have no rights to the assets until after your passing. If you still have the wrong person listed – they will receive that asset.
If you would like a review of your plans or have questions, please contact us.
We will be glad to assist you at no cost.