Update Your Beneficiaries

life insurance beneficiaryWhen was the last time you checked/updated the beneficiary information on your retirement accounts, pension plans, and life insurance policies?

If it’s been a while, now may be a good time to go through some of your records and double-check to make sure that the beneficiaries listed on your accounts are the ones you want.

In case you were wondering: Pension companies, retirement accounts, and life insurance companies have no idea when people pass away.

This is why it’s a good idea for us to always make sure that our list is current.

Along with updating our beneficiaries, we should also make sure that our beneficiaries know they are listed on our accounts, and that all information is easily accessible to them should something happen to us prematurely.

Situations that occur when beneficiaries should be updated:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Children’s birth – don’t list minor child as beneficiary
  • Children reaching 18 years of age
  • Death of a previous listed beneficiary
  • Establishment of a Living Trust/Will

I have heard several stories of retirement-account owners who have been divorced and remarried but have neglected to update their beneficiary designations accordingly. As you can imagine, this can be quite frustrating for their survivors, who must battle in court for a legal determination of the true beneficiary. The court’s decision, however, may not necessarily be what the deceased would have wanted.

Documents/Records to review/update beneficiaries:

  • 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Roth IRA
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Living Trust/Will Documents
  • Pension Plans

*The articles on this blog are for education and entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as financial or legal adviceIf you would like more information about how something listed in any of my posts specifically affects you, please feel free to comment below, email me, or call me anytime.


Bryan Schurter

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