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.
I’m often asked if I specialize in elder law. Not only do I answer “yes”, I typically try to explain the reason for my answer. While there are many attorneys who claim to be elder law attorneys, certainly not all specialize in it. I believe an attorney who claims to specialize in elder law should […]
Assisted living is a growing industry. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2014, 835,200 older Americans resided in assisted living facilities, an increase of over 100,000 residents in just four years. For many older Americans, assisted living offers hope of receiving help with meals, medications or other activities of daily […]
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 […]