I Wish
I Knew

I Wish I Knew: Update your beneficiaries.

March 15, 2017 by Ellen Abramson

There are many documents that require you to list a beneficiary to receive the proceeds when you pass away. These documents may include life insurance, health insurance, bank accounts, investment accounts, a will or a trust. Most of the time we designate someone on the form and then think we are all set. Well think again.

A beneficiary is the recipient of money or other benefits. You carefully choose your beneficiaries because you want THEM to receive those benefits. The most important thing is to make sure the person you want to receive the benefit is accurate and up to date. The best time to update your beneficiaries is when a significant life event happens such as a birth, marriage, divorce, death, or relationship change. You certainly do not want your assets going to someone that you do not want to receive your benefits.

Life happens, life changes, beneficiaries need to be updated. Check your estate planning documents, insurance policies and financial accounts on a regular basis to ensure your designees are up to date. In order to name your beneficiary you need to note their full name, relationship, date of birth and sometimes social security number. Detailing contact information is also helpful so your beneficiaries can easily be located. Appointing contingent beneficiaries is also beneficial so they can receive your assets if there is no living primary beneficiary.

Don’t let the wrong person benefit from your life legacy. Let your legacy live on with those you care of the most. And remember to make sure that your beneficiaries know where you keep your important documents and insurance policies.