Comprehensive estate planning ensures that your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated or pass away. For many people, this planning includes their will, a power of attorney, life insurance, and a healthcare directive. One important piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked is beneficiary designations.
If you have questions about estate planning or beneficiary designations, please contact us today.
You have the opportunity to name a beneficiary for most of your assets. Your life insurance policy requires you to designate a beneficiary. And you likely have a beneficiary named for your retirement accounts.
Checking and saving accounts can have a beneficiary that is not a joint owner on the account. This is often called a “payable on death” arrangement in which a named individual can only access the funds after your death.
At the heart of estate planning is the assurance that wishes are carried out. If your beneficiary designations are outdated, unclear, or conflicting, there could be litigation
It’s easy to make mistakes when you name a beneficiary. That’s why it’s so important to work with an estate planning law firm to ensure that all of your paperwork is complete, conflict-free, and aligns with your goals.
Some of the most common beneficiary mistakes that we see are:
There are countless more errors and omissions that can happen with beneficiary designations. That’s why it’s so important to review your estate planning annually, or any time your beneficiaries experience a life change.
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I help people protect what they care about most. If you are ready to start getting your estate plan in place and figure out your beneficiaries, I can help.
As with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.
Whether you have already started thinking about how you want your estate to be handled, or you are just now realizing you need a plan, you have come to the right place.
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A beneficiary can be an individual, a charity, a trust, or your estate.
There are two types of beneficiaries: primary and secondary/contingent.
Both your primary and secondary beneficiaries should be noted in your will.
Your estate is your legacy. You want to find the best Worcester estate planning lawyer for you and your family. We’ve been helping clients with their wills and beneficiary designations for over 24 years. We’re ready to help you. We can create an estate plan to fit your assets and goals, and review any existing estate planning that you’ve already done. Contact us today to discuss your estate plan.
If you’re in the middle of estate planning, you likely have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we are asked about beneficiary designations.
Many beneficiary designations are set up to avoid inheritance tax. However, there can be some exceptions, such as certain retirement accounts. When you work with our attorneys, we’ll go over the inheritance tax implications for each of your assets and accounts.
Under most circumstances, a beneficiary designation does supersede a will. However, you shouldn’t rely on this fact or take it for granted. If you make changes to a beneficiary, you should update your will, too. If your will and your beneficiary designations don’t match, it could create conflict and possible attempts at litigation.
Yes, a beneficiary can be contested in certain situations. Family members may contest a beneficiary if they believe their loved one wasn’t of sound mind or acted under duress. For example, if the deceased had dementia and changed a beneficiary to be a purported love interest.
Another instance that may be contested is when an ex-spouse is still listed as a beneficiary. If the deceased remarried, does not have minor children with the ex-spouse, and the split was acrimonious, it could be argued that the designation was an oversight. The new spouse may have legal merit to fight the beneficiary designation.
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