Assets that allow beneficiary designations
provide powerful benefits that permit the owner to designate who will inherit
the assets, how they can inherit the assets, avoidance of probate, and
potential tax minimization, to name a few. Most individuals do not give the
necessary attention to how they designate their beneficiaries.
There is the right way to do
just about anything, and it’s usually not the easy way. Thankfully there are
those rare shortcuts that are actually pretty solid, so long as you remember
when and where to take them.
When it comes to proper estate
planning, the shortcuts are the existing options you already have with
insurances and retirement accounts that allow you to designate your
beneficiaries on a simple beneficiary designation form.
For many of us, the beneficiary
form is the first practical experience we have with estate planning. For
thoughtful and downright tactful tips for designating your beneficiaries
designations, consider a recent article in Fox
Business titled “Bulletproofing Your Beneficiaries.”
When it comes to beneficiary
designations, some of them are shortcuts and some of them are dead-ends, and
still others can completely undo your estate plans if you simply forget about
them. That noted, there are at least two key points to consider. The second
point is the beneficiary designation must be coordinated with your overall
estate plan to the right beneficiaries (or even a system of trusts) to
eliminate probate and minimize taxes. The first point, and a source of
immediate concern, is that you must know who all of your beneficiaries are on
all your accounts at all times. If you don’t know already, then it’s high time
for a “beneficiary audit” of all your accounts and, if necessary, a reworking
of those designations to meet your distribution goals.
Contact your Newport Beach estate planning attorneys at Meier
Law Firm to discuss all of your estate planning needs.
Reference: Fox Business
(October 1, 2012) “Bulletproofing Your Beneficiaries”