What is a beneficiary? A beneficiary is someone you name who will receive your property after you die. You can name your spouse as the primary beneficiary and your Children as secondary beneficiaries on your life insurance policy. If you have no children, you may have named your spouse or significant other.
You may have named parents or friends as beneficiaries. Most retirement and investment accounts require beneficiaries before the account is activated. For other property, such as art, jewelry and personal items, you can name a beneficiary in your will or trust. Below are the most common types of monetary accounts that require a beneficiary:
If the primary beneficiary named is living, then the funds will transfer easily to those persons. If not and there is no secondary beneficiary, the funds may be probated. Probate is an expensive legal process to pass your property to those who survive you after your death.
It’s always a good idea to review your named beneficiaries on an annual basis. Below are some things to consider when naming persons to receive your property after you pass on.
If your investments have an option to name your “estate” as a beneficiary, do not check that box. As a result, naming your “estate” may require probate. Do select “trust” and write in your trust name, if possible. We suggest you always consult with your financial advisor to get more information on your specific accounts.
If any of the below events occurred within the last 12 months, you may want to update your beneficiaries:
To ensure your loved ones are taken care of when you pass away it is important that you choose the right beneficiary. You can also name beneficiaries in a Living Trust and a Last Will and Testament. To avoid probate, name beneficiaries on accounts, in a trust, or a will. Don’t let a judge decide for you. If you don’t already have a trust and/or will, we’re here to help your family avoid probate. We’ll help you prepare these important documents now so that your loved ones are taken care of later.