Are Your Designated Heirs Up-to-Date?

The end of the year is a time when families often gather together. Although these gatherings may keep you busy, this could be a good time to think about the future and make sure that you have correctly designated family members and any others you wish as beneficiaries in your will, insurance policies, and financial accounts.

This is especially important if there have been changes in your life, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, a death in the family, a divorce, or a remarriage. But even if your family situation remains the same, it’s a good idea to review your beneficiary designations to be sure they are complete and reflect your current wishes.

IMAGE

Beneficiary Forms May Override Your Will

A will is an essential legal document for designating your heirs and facilitating distribution of your assets if your estate goes through the probate process. However, the assets in most investment accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance policies convey directly to the people named on the beneficiary forms — even if they are different from the people named in your will — and do not go through probate.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to designate or change your account beneficiaries. A will may incur costs to update, but a new beneficiary designation form can be filed with the appropriate financial institution or insurance company. Here are some issues to consider.

  • Your current spouse must be the beneficiary of an employer-sponsored retirement plan unless he or she waives that right in writing. Without a waiver, any children from a previous marriage might not receive account proceeds.
  • Designate secondary (contingent) beneficiaries in the event that the primary beneficiaries predecease you. Otherwise, proceeds would be distributed according to the default method specified in the account documents and/or state law.
  • Some insurance policies, pension plans, and retirement accounts may not pay death benefits to minors. If you want to leave money to young children, you should designate a guardian or a trust as beneficiary.

The use of trusts involves complex tax rules and regulations. Consider the counsel of an experienced estate planning professional and your legal and tax advisers before implementing such strategies.

 
Wells Fargo Advisors - Wealth Management & Financial Advisors
975 OAK ST, SUITE 1080 Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (877) 778-9508

Wells Fargo Advisors does not render legal, accounting, or tax advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisors before taking any action that may have tax consequences. Wells Fargo Advisors did not assist in the preparation of this material, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed.

This information is intended for use only by residents of (AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY). Securities-related services may not be provided to individuals residing in any state not listed above.

For parties residing outside of the U.S., this information is: (i) provided for informational purposes only, (ii) not and should not be construed in any manner as an offer to participate in any investment or to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments, and (iii) not and should not be construed in any manner as a public offering of any financial services, securities or related financial instruments.

Products and services listed may not be available, or may have restrictions, depending on client country of residence.

Investment and Insurance Products Are:
  • Not Insured by the FDIC or any Federal Government Agency
  • Not a Deposit or Other Obligation of, or Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank Affiliate
  • Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss of the Principal Amount Invested

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC

A note about Social Media: Opinions, comments and actions taken on Social Media are those of the third party and do not necessarily reflect the views of the creator of this profile or of the firm. Social Media is intended for U.S. residents only and subject to the following terms: wellsfargoadvisors.com/social.

Links to third-party websites are provided for your convenience and information purposes only. Wells Fargo Advisors is not responsible for the information contained on third party websites.

©2019 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

FINRA’s BrokerCheck Obtain more information about our firm and its financial professionals
FINRA’s BrokerCheck Obtain more information about our firm and its financial professionals