Show your beneficiaries that you love them. Do a beneficiary review and ensure that they get the assets you want them to receive.
Your will is one of your most powerful legal documents and, for many, the primary means to ensure your plans are carried out for your loved ones. Nevertheless, don’t overlook any of your assets for which you have designated beneficiaries! Why? Because your beneficiary designations and your overall estate plan must be coordinated so they work together instead of being at odds with one another.
Beneficiary forms seem simple and they generally are. Just to be on the safe side, however, you may want to read a recent article in The Slott Report titled “Beneficiary Form Review: The Gift That Keeps on Giving.”
Essentially, designating a beneficiary or beneficiaries on a beneficiary form can allow you to exempt a given account or policy entirely out of your “probate” estate. However, when you avoid probate your will has no control over who inherits such account or policy. Accordingly, by not reviewing and updating your beneficiary forms you risk giving your assets to the wrong beneficiary (e.g., an ex-spouse on your 401k plan).
Solution? Perform a beneficiary form audit of your accounts to ensure they are consistent with your wishes.
Reference: The Slott Report (February 18, 2013) “Beneficiary Form Review: The Gift That Keeps on Giving”