It doesn’t hurt to take a look at your beneficiary designations periodically to make sure that they reflect your wishes.
But you should immediately update those designations if you’ve gotten married or divorced, if one of your beneficiaries has died or if you’ve had a child.
Be sure to work with your estate attorney, financial planner or your CPA to ensure that you understand the consequences of your choices and the way they fit in with your overall estate plan.
For instance, you probably wouldn’t want your minor child to directly inherit your life insurance proceeds or retirement accounts.
Instead, you’d want to appoint a guardian for your child in your will and arrange for a trust to receive the assets.
This way, you can spell out how you’d like your savings to be used for your child’s care and add provisions as to when your child may be able to control the money.
“If you take the trust route, be sure that that trust is listed on the beneficiary form,” said Braxton.
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