The Problem with Beneficiaries in Your Will

willYou think that you have your love ones protected, you have a Will. Well maybe not! Many people who have a Will believe that their assets will be passed say to a spouse or other family members. And while this is true there are some things that you should be concerned about.

  1. Beware that your beneficiaries listed on your life insurance, 401K, IRA and even your brokerage account ARE AHEAD of your beneficiaries shown in your will. These assets will pass to the beneficiaries BEFORE the Will even goes to probate.
  2. In general, all Wills go through the probate process and distributions can take months or even years. In addition you’ll need an attorney. Suggestion – check to see if a revocable trust better meets your needs, the trustee can directly distribute your assets without probate.
  3. Beware of naming an “Estate” as a beneficiary in your life insurance, 401K, IRA and brokerage account. This may have unintended consequences and should only be done with the help of an estate planning attorney.

Do not delay whatsoever in clarifying your beneficiaries. You may find that the beneficiaries that you set up years ago in your employer 401K plan no longer represent your wishes.

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