Change of Beneficiary
An Estate Planning Must
At the Law Offices of Steven M. Adler, PLLC, it is our job to fully educate
clients on the various estate planning tools so they can create customized
estate plans that meet all of their needs. Part of our responsibility
includes continuously keeping estate plans up-to-date and anticipating
problems before they arise.
Beneficiaries play a major role in the
estate planning process, and with
over 50 years of collective experience, we are qualified to help you better understand the importance of keeping
your beneficiaries up-to-date.
What is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is a person or a legal entity who receives proceeds from
an estate, a
trust, a life insurance policy, a retirement account, or a transfer on death
account. Beneficiary designations are extremely important and play a major
role in the estate planning process because they often control large portions
of a client's wealth.
When to Review Your Beneficiary Designations
You should periodically review and update your beneficiaries whenever:
- You experience a major life event such as a birth, death, or divorce.
- You update your estate plan.
- You roll over a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
Unfortunately, many of these beneficiary designations are created only
once and they are tucked away in a drawer for safe keeping where they
are long long-forgotten as the years go by. For instance, a person may
designate their spouse as a beneficiary on their retirement account early
in life and forgotten to update it years later after they divorced and
remarried. While a state statute may save the day, other times it may not.
Discuss Your Case With a Long Island Estate Lawyer
If you have not taken a look recently at the beneficiaries on your bank,
brokerage, life insurance, and company benefit plan, you should. While
reviewing these documents are simple steps, it is amazing how often people
fail to take these simple steps and the consequences for failing to change
beneficiaries can be dire, especially if an ex-spouse happens to be your
As a general rule, whoever is named on the most recent beneficiary form
receives the money automatically when you pass, meaning beneficiary designations
Long Island estate planning attorney from our firm to learn more about our services and how we can help you!