Remember to Review Your Beneficiaries

Retirement

Remember to Review Your Beneficiaries

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
5 years ago | October 29, 2014

couple looking at taxesWhen your bought a life insurance policy or started a retirement account years ago, you were asked to name a beneficiary for the funds. But like most people, you may not have given a thought to those beneficiaries in all the years since! There are several reasons that you may need to change your beneficiaries as time goes by, so it’s important to review this information at least once per year. Since you may have many different accounts, use this handy checklist to help you remember all the beneficiary designations you need to update.

Life Insurance. You may have purchased your own life insurance policy, but you may also have a policy through your employer. Remember to contact your insurance company and your human resources department at work, as needed, to be sure your beneficiary designations are still correct. This advice applies to disability insurance as well.

Health Insurance or Health Savings Accounts. If something happens to you, it’s likely you will incur some medical expenses before your passing. Select someone trustworthy to take care of those bills, and make sure your Health Savings Account beneficiary designation reflects that choice. You don’t want your heirs to be billed for unpaid medical bills.

Annuities. When you update your beneficiary information on your annuities, check to be sure the payment option, if applicable, is also appropriate for the person you chose.

Retirement Accounts. If you hold numerous accounts, such as traditional or Roth IRAs, a pension plan through work, a 401(k) plan or a 403(b) plan, make sure that you update each account. You may find it’s easier to keep track of everything by rolling all of your old accounts into one IRA.

Bank Accounts. Check with your bank to see if you can use a Transfer of Death designation. This will allow your beneficiary to access funds by providing your bank with a death certificate, so that the funds are not subject to probate.

529 College Savings Plans. You might think that the beneficiary on a college savings plan is set in stone, but it changes more often than you would think. If you’re saving for several children but one earns a full scholarship, you may wish to transfer those funds to another child or save it for grandchildren.

Wills and Trusts. A will is extremely important and should be updated regularly. However, keep in mind that the beneficiary designations on individual accounts will override anything stated in your will.

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