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Remembering beneficiaries in estate planning

A surprising number of celebrities pass away without an estate plan. Everybody needs to look into the benefits of estate planning to help smooth the way when they die. Determining who will inherit your assets and putting this down on paper will help make the transfer of assets efficient.

What is a beneficiary designation?

Whenever you open a new account with a financial institution, you need to ask about beneficiaries. A beneficiary is a person who takes control of your account when you die. Financial institutions have papers you can file to name your beneficiary. You can choose the person to pass your assets onto, with most people choosing a spouse or children.

Not naming a beneficiary

Not everyone names a beneficiary. You may not realize you can or you may plan on choosing later. Not naming a beneficiary can cause problems for your estate. Most financial and insurance companies will pay a probate court that will decide how your estate is divided.

Don’t forget to update your beneficiaries

Life changes for most people, with divorce and deaths removing family members from your life. Naming a beneficiary does not mean the name is set in stone. Instead, you can remove your ex-spouse from your list of beneficiaries and replace them during estate planning.

Call your life insurance provider

You should stay on top of your life insurance beneficiaries at regular intervals. Seeing a list of beneficiaries could prompt a change of mind that requires corrections to be made.

Deciding on beneficiaries is one step along the way towards being prepared for your death. Estate planning needs to include checking on the beneficiaries for your accounts.

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