You could be in for a rude awakening if you don’t remember who you’ve named as beneficiary of your investment accounts or life insurance policies. Beneficiary designations for an annuity, IRA, 401(k), 457(b), Roth IRA or life insurance policy transfer the asset to the named person or persons regardless of the named beneficiaries under a will or trust. It is not uncommon for someone to name their parent or sibling as beneficiary of their 401(k) for example, when they secure their first job after finishing college. Yet, they sometimes forget to update their beneficiaries when they get married (or divorced) or have children. If the owner dies unexpectedly, even if he or she clearly would have preferred their 401(k) be distributed to his or her spouse, the account will be distributed to the nominated beneficiary. This, of course, can potentially cause a real mess for the surviving spouse and children. Take a few minutes to review your beneficiary designations to make sure they reflect your current wishes. You should also review them whenever your circumstances change such as in marriage, divorce, childbirth or death.
A durable power of attorney – where an agent is appointed to handle the financial affairs for someone who can no longer make such decisions for themselves (known as a principal) – has been used for decades. Years ago, these documents were rarely ever challenged or exploited. Unfortunately with the rise of elder abuse, banks […]
While we all love to save money and time, your estate plan is not a good place to cut corners. DIY estate planners often use inexpensive will templates and generic online legal advice to draft an estate plan on the cheap. A new Wall Street Journal article, gives a few reasons to reconsider this strategy.
78% of Americans under the age of 36 do not have a will or a trust in place. Frankly, most millennials show little interest in estate planning. This can create quite the mess if you are ever (God forbid) involved in a tragic accident. As discussed in a Wealth Management article, planning your estate is […]