Importance of updating your beneficiary designations

Are your beneficiary designations up to date? Do you know which accounts have beneficiaries, and whom you’ve designated? It’s easy to lose track. But it’s important to keep them current. Here’s why.

When you designate a beneficiary for an account, that person inherits the assets in the account, regardless of what your will says. That’s why updating your will periodically might not be enough. Typically, you’ll have beneficiaries for each of your IRAs, your 401(k) or other retirement plans, annuities, and insurance policies.

Your designations could be out of date because of life changes. For example, since you made your initial choices, you might have married, had children, or divorced. Some of the beneficiaries you chose could have died, divorced, or married.

Changing tax laws also affect beneficiary designations. Choosing the wrong beneficiary, or failing to name a contingent beneficiary, can affect the long-term value of your IRA assets after you die.

Make reviewing and updating beneficiary designations part of your year-end financial review. Give us a call if you need help.

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