Naming Beneficiaries on Your Accounts

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Living Trust
Deciding on a Living Trust or Last Will to designate your property.
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It may seem like a simple enough task, however so many of us never really think about naming beneficiaries on our money and retirement accounts. Oftentimes, our bank accounts are opened when we get our first job in high school or out of college (savings accounts may have even been opened by our parents when we were quite young). These funds and accounts are often our most valuable assets, and can easily be passed to our loved ones, without ever going through probate through the simple step of designating a beneficiary. 

Too often, people do not take the steps to make plans for the future when they will die because we often think we are invincible or do not like thinking about death. However, taking the time for this after death planning is so crucial to ensure your loved ones are taken care of and to minimize the stress they would endure processing your estate.

If you haven’t already done so, start requesting beneficiary forms for any accounts that allow you to designate payable-on-death beneficiaries. If you are married, in most circumstances, your spouse is likely already designated as the beneficiary of the account. One cannot assume anything, so please check to make sure your desired beneficiary is named officially, so that there are no questions asked, especially if you are no longer in your first marriage. Multiple marriages and the additional children from second marriages, and step-children will make this more complex. You may also want to take this time to designate a beneficiary on any additional assets that can be passed with a right of survivorship, such as a car, boat, house or other real estate. This simple step can save your loved ones a lot of time by ensuring that these assets go directly to them without having to pass through the already heavily burdened court system.

There are many legal issues involved in this whole process and different laws that apply. Thus, it is best to consult an attorney to ensure that the steps you are taking to protect your loved ones upon your death are legally binding.

At Tindall Law Firm, LLC we are very experienced in preparing these legal documents and can assist in helping you document your wishes. Please contact us with any questions on this topic or any other legal issues by calling us at  (203) 755-0018 or visiting us online at  with all your legal needs.