Mistakes to Avoid in Beneficiary Designations

Many conscientious estate planners, who prepare careful and complete estate plans, give little thought to beneficiary designations for retirement accounts or life insurance policies. Sandra Feingerts of the Fisher & Phillips law firm has prepared a useful list of mistakes to avoid in preparing beneficiary designations. For example, she states:

Participants believe that their wills override all beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations and the plan document determine who gets the money, not the will.

Participants believe that a divorce or property settlement automatically voids the former spouse as the beneficiary. This is not the case unless the plan contains such a provision. A current spouse will always be the beneficiary under a retirement plan regardless of a prior beneficiary designation. Life insurance proceeds will always be payable to the designated beneficiary.

Go to the full article here for a list of additional mistakes to avoid in preparing your beneficiary designations.

Photo:  brett jordan

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