Many investors own an IRA or other type of retirement account. Some own an annuity or life insurance policy. All such accounts or products designate a beneficiary—to whom the assets will transfer, or whom the assets will benefit—when the owner someday passes away. You are probably familiar with the idea of a beneficiary designation but may not realize just how powerful it is. What you choose to complete on your beneficiary form supersedes what you write in your Will, even if you update your Will long after you select your beneficiaries.
Stories of assets ending up in the wrong hands, after an untimely death, are plentiful. For example, one woman selected her mother as primary beneficiary of her pension when she first began her career, and never thought to update her selection. At her untimely passing, her husband and two children received no benefit from her. Rather, her mother—now in a nursing home—received 100% of it, just as the beneficiary form dictated. Inadvertently, a nursing home benefitted from this woman’s retirement savings and no legal action could change that result.
Joslyn delineates a few things to consider, as you confirm that your beneficiary designations are on track to memorialize your current wishes. Reach out to us today for assistance, to ensure that you are using the power of your beneficiary designations to serve your family’s best interests.