Naming beneficiaries seems pretty straight forward, but there may come a time when you forget who you’ve selected on various accounts. Thankfully there are shortcuts around this issue, you just have to know when and where to take them.
When it comes to proper estate planning, the shortcuts are the existing options you already have with insurances and retirement accounts that allow you to designate your beneficiaries on a simple beneficiary designation form.
For many of us, the beneficiary form is the first practical experience we have with estate planning. For thoughtful and downright tactful tips for designating your beneficiaries designations, consider a recent article in Fox Business titled “Bulletproofing Your Beneficiaries.”
When it comes to beneficiary designations, some of them are shortcuts and some of them are dead-ends, and still others can completely undo your estate plans if you simply forget about them. That noted, there are at least two key points to consider. The second point is the beneficiary designation must be coordinated with your overall estate plan to the right beneficiaries (or even a system of trusts) to eliminate probate and minimize taxes. The first point, and a source of immediate concern, is that you must know who all of your beneficiaries are on all your accounts at all times.
If you don’t know all of your beneficiaries, is it time for a “beneficiary audit” of all your accounts? You may want to consider reworking those designations to meet your distribution goals and ensure that your plans will end up as you intended.
I caution you on retirement accounts, IRA’s and 401K’s, etc. Special rules apply so be certain you get the proper advice from a qualified estate planning attorney or financial advisor before taking action.
We have two weeks remaining for the fall series of free educational workshops (Tuesday 11/13 and 11/20). Our recent workshops have been nearly sold-out! If you are interested or know someone who this information can help (maybe your parents or in-laws) be sure to register at the link below for the next free educational estate planning workshops asap:
Our recent workshops have been nearly sold-out!
To register for a free estate planning workshop at the learning center go here: http://www.myfamilylifeplan.com/workshops-Registration-Form.php
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation please call Attorney Patrick Kelleher at 781-871-PLAN (7526) or by email at Pat@myfamilylifeplan.com
Our firm helps families taking care of them for life. We not only “create” their Will and Trust, but we “maintain it and keep it updated” for them throughout their life! The meter is not running for our ‘Client Care Plan’ members!
Patrick J. Kelleher is a South Shore, MA resident and estate planning attorney serving and protecting families and businesses in the South Shore, MA area. For more information on estate planning visit our firm’s website at www.MyFamilyLifePlan.com where you can check out our Blog, free Newsletter library, free Estate Planning Channel on Youtube and sign up for a Free e-Newsletter!
Also serving the following communities South of Boston; Quincy, Milton, Braintree, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, Hanover, Pembroke, Duxbury, Marshfield, Plymouth, Rockland, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton, Carver, Abington, Whitman, Kingston
This article is not intended to provide legal or tax advice or create or imply an attorney-client relationship. No information contained herein is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney.
Reference: Fox Business (October 1, 2012) “Bulletproofing Your Beneficiaries”