How forgotten beneficiary designations interfere with your will

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2021 | Estate Planning

Unfortunately, will and trust contests can occur despite the most meticulous planning. You can avoid these potential issues by double-checking the beneficiary designations on all of your California life insurance policies and retirement accounts.

Beneficiary designations on any sort of monetary instrument are legally binding. They cannot be contested, and they override your last will and testament. The original designee will inherit no matter what types of changes you made to your will.

The importance of a beneficiary designation

When life hands you changes such as marriage or divorce, you do not always think of the beneficiary designation you specified when you set up an old account. It is a common misconception that changing your will assures that the inheritors you later choose will be the ones who will inherit. However, it’s important to update both your will and the beneficiary of each account when you experience significant life changes. Beneficiary designations can only be changed by you while you are still alive, so they should be double-checked during the estate planning process.

Where can you learn about all your options?

You do have options when it comes to estate planning and ensuring that your final wishes are respected. Consulting with a will and trust lawyer may help you decide on the type of will or trust could help you best protect your assets. A lawyer may also help you locate old funds and accounts that you might have forgotten about. Updating your estate plan with the knowledge that every dime of your bank account, investment or retirement fund and insurance policy is properly accounted for can bring you great peace of mind.