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.