Robert Stanlick
 

Are your Beneficiaries correct?

A comprehensive beneficiary review is a simple way to ensure that assets go to exactly whom an individual wish. Without a comprehensive beneficiary review, an individual may be leaving assets to those they did not intend or no one at all.

Remember filling out your 401k paperwork when you started your job?  How long did you think through the line of succession for your beneficiaries?  If you are like the majority of people you put one person as primary beneficiary and considered it done.

Your company was bought out or changed 401k providers -  do you know for sure that the beneficiary information was transferred correctly?

To ensure the right people have been named and all the necessary information has been provided, a beneficiary review of all accounts should be performed regularly. Accounts with listed beneficiaries will be paid out according to the listed beneficiary designations, even if individuals try to dictate different instructions. This fact can be particularly troubling. According to a recent article in Investment News, about 80% of beneficiary forms on individual retirement accounts, defined benefit pension plans and insurance policies are blank, outdated or not properly filled in.

Where to Start: The first step is to determine the different places a beneficiary is listed. This could include estate documents, asset accounts and insurance.

Estate documents requiring review:

  • Will
  • Living Trust
  • All other revocable trust accounts that require review:
  • IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other retirement accounts
  • Annuities
  • Pensions
  • Brokerage accounts and other investment accounts
  • Existing bank accounts and Certificates of Deposit Taxes & Investments:

 Timely and Timeless Strategies Insurance policies that require review:

  • Life insurance policies
  • Disability insurance policies
  • Long-term care policies

This list is not all-encompassing, but it will provide a good initial checklist for individuals.

Reviewing Beneficiaries: Once all beneficiary accounts have been identified, it is important to review all listed beneficiaries for accuracy.

Things to check for:

  • A primary beneficiary is named
  • A contingent beneficiary is named
  • Confirm that all beneficial shares add up to 100%
  • Make sure all required forms have been properly completed
  • Consider listing a trust as the primary or contingent beneficiary in lieu of a minor
  • Consult with Robert Stanlick before listing your estate as a beneficiary. There may be significant disadvantages to naming an estate as beneficiary.

Situations that require immediate beneficiary review:

  • Death of a primary or contingent beneficiary
  • Marriage, divorce or remarriage- especially if there are custodians listed in estate documents for minor children
  • Birth or adoption of an additional child
  • Significant changes in family dynamics

Everyone has a unique plan and unique desires for their legacy. It is important to consult with Robert Stanlick to discuss beneficiary reviews for your situation. Time and life events may cause changes in assets and legacy plans, making a periodic review important. Without proper periodic reviews of your listed beneficiaries, it is possible to unintentionally harm your ability to protect, preserve and pass on assets to your heirs.

Rocky Mountain Wealth Partners does not provide legal advice.  Please consultant your attorney.

Call Robert Stanlick to show you the simplest and fastest way to get your beneficiaries confirmed to your wishes.

719-400-6516  or email Robert@rmwealthpartners.com