Update your financial records annually

by | Financial Planning, General

Has it been awhile since you’ve updated the beneficiaries on your estate planning documents?

Consider this. An elderly man dies, leaving his estate to his beloved wife of 20 years. But his $200,000 life insurance policy lists his former wife as the beneficiary. Who gets the insurance money? His former wife.

This hypothetical case underscores the importance of updating the beneficiary designations on your financial accounts and insurance policies regularly. You’ve worked hard to get where you are today, and you don’t want your savings to go to the wrong person.

We recommend that you review all of your bank accounts, CDs, retirement plans, insurance policies, wills and trusts every year. It’s also important to update your beneficiary designations when you experience major life events, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, death of a family member, marriage, divorce, and remarriage. Even if your preferred beneficiaries haven’t changed, they may have new addresses or even new last names.

Consider hiring a financial advisor to review your beneficiary designations. Your advisor will help you remove your ex-spouse, name contingent beneficiaries, identify a new heir after the death of a primary beneficiary, update beneficiary forms after major events, and make sure matters are handled efficiently and properly after your death. He or she can also advise you on changes in estate and tax law. This will save your loved ones a major inconvenience and a lot of unnecessary grief during probate.

Contact the financial experts at Dreggors, Rigsby & Teal for a free consultation at (386) 734-9441 or info@drtfa.com.  We’ll review your financial situation and recommend the best options for updating your records and making sure your estate goes to your preferred beneficiary without delay or hassle.

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