One of the best things Michigan residents can do to protect their assets and their loved ones is to make sure that the information on any accounts and legal documents they have is accurate and up to date. Making sure beneficiary designations represent one’s current wishes is particularly important. It is something that doesn’t take much time to do; it is just a matter of doing it.
Recently, a financial advisor shared a story about a couple who was seemingly unaware of the current beneficiary designation on the husband’s 401(k) retirement account. This was his second marriage. He had been divorced from his first wife for more than two years, but she was still listed as his beneficiary. Left as is, his current wife would not have any rights to that money if he were to die.
Updating beneficiary designations is not something too many people think about. They fill out the forms and forget about them. This is an easy thing to let slide, but allowing it to can be extremely damaging. So, take an hour and make sure the beneficiary designations are up to date on accounts such as:
- Life insurance
- Transfer or payable on death accounts
- Annuity contracts
Of course, reviewing will and trust documents to ensure beneficiary designations represent one’s current wishes is also a must. It is recommended that these legal documents be checked every couple of years or after any significant life event. It may seem like an annoyance, but it will be worth it in the end.
Ensuring beneficiary designations are up to date is just one small way Michigan residents can make sure their wishes are known and honored after their deaths. It is a simple thing to do and doesn’t take much time at all. Designating beneficiaries on various accounts is something a person can do on his or her own. However, those who want to review and modify beneficiary designations on their wills or trusts may want to turn to legal counsel for assistance.