Update those Beneficiary Forms!
As part of the estate planning process, I always strongly encourage my clients to update their beneficiary forms. This includes forms for life insurance policies, IRA’s, 401(k)s, and anything other accounts that have a POD (pay on death) form. Sometimes, my clients are shocked to discover that the forms were completed when they were single or married to another spouse, and they simply didn’t realize they needed to be changed. Or the beneficiaries were parents who have passed away or other relatives from which they may now be estranged. For many clients, I recommend naming the spouse as the primary beneficiary, and the children (either individually or a trust for the children’s benefit) as a secondary beneficiary. There are some occasions where I may recommend that the estate be named.
Unfortunately, if the forms leave the money to the wrong party, it can be almost impossible to get the funds back. That’s why it is so important to review not only your estate plan every couple of years (or after a major life event), but also as a part of that process, review the beneficiary forms. The few minutes of your time it will take to review those are well worth the peace of mind you will have in knowing that upon your passing, your assets go to whom you want them to go to.
Does your estate plan need updated? If you need a review of your documents, call Marietta estate planning attorney Sarah White at 678-453-6490 to learn the steps you need to take. Call today.