Estate Planning And Elder Law Services In Orlando And Beyond

Mistakes to avoid when naming a beneficiary 

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Naming a beneficiary is an important aspect of estate planning. It ensures that your assets are handled based on your wishes. 

However, it’s crucial to approach beneficiary designation carefully to avoid certain mistakes. If these mistakes are not avoided, they can lead to unintended consequences. Here you will find some mistakes to avoid when naming a beneficiary.

Not updating your beneficiary designations

Life is dynamic, and circumstances change over time. You must review and update beneficiary designations regularly. If you don’t, it can lead to outdated information and potential disputes between family members. 

Not having contingent beneficiaries

You know you must name primary beneficiaries. However, many people overlook contingent beneficiaries, which can create challenges. If the primary beneficiary dies before you, having someone named as a contingent beneficiary will ensure a smooth transfer of assets. Without this, your estate may enter probate, which can take time to resolve. 

Vague designations

When filling out beneficiary designation forms, you must be specific and provide complete information. Don’t use words like “spouse” or “children” without naming them specifically. Include full names, birthdates and other relevant details to avoid confusion and potential legal battles.

Not telling your family about your plans

It is smart to communicate your beneficiary designations with the individuals involved. Ensure that your loved ones know the details of your estate plan. This helps prevent misunderstandings, confusion and disputes after you pass away. 

Avoiding the mistakes listed here will help ensure your beneficiary designations are set and that they will be problem free. It is wise to know your legal rights and options to ensure that your estate plans meet your needs.