Are you 100% certain, that all your beneficiary forms are exactly how you want them?

famWhen was the last time you double checked your Beneficiary Designations?

Get a Free Copy of “Retirement Plan Beneficiary Audit” Here

Maybe it’s time to do a Beneficiary Audit on your retirement plans, to make sure all of your old forms are correct and everything is exactly how you want it.

Has there been a divorce, a death, a new child, a new grandchild, or maybe just an old account you opened before you got married.

Read this article. A guy who was happily married to his wife for 40 years lost $1 million to his estranged sister-in-law because his wife never updated her pension forms from her account she opened before there were married.

New York Post- Broke Widower Loses $1 Million to In-Law

IRA’s, 401k’s, Life Insurance, and many other accounts have beneficiary forms that you may have filled out 20, 30 even 40 years ago. You may have even forgotten who is the beneficiary on the form.

Guess what. If you died tomorrow, your money is going EXACTLY to whomever is on the original form. Even if that person is no longer in your life or is hated by your family.

Experts recommend checking your forms every couple years because beneficiary forms are iron-clad.

Beneficiary Forms override a Trust or a Will. (Yes you read that right)

Here’s a couple of beneficiary thoughts

  • Per Stirpes– Watch out for beneficiary forms that don’t allow your assets to pass “per stirpes,” or equally among the branches of a family. Say you name your three adult children as beneficiaries of your IRA. If one of them predeceases you, you might want that child’s share to go to his or her children. However, many standard beneficiary forms provide that your two remaining adult children would share the pot.
  • Restricted Beneficiary Forms– Some types of accounts have “Restricted Beneficiary” Forms. These work like a FREE trust. They allow you to spell out exactly how your beneficiaries will get your money. You can dictate “Lump Sum”or  “”Payments over X years” or other options, and you can pick a different option for each beneficiary. Many lump sum inheritances get blown very quickly so restricting the payout may make sense. Call me for more details. 

You can update your beneficiary forms whenever you want, and as many times as you want. But after you die it’s too late.

Here’s a few articles to read that may answer some questions for you.

Wall Street Journal: Beware the Beneficiary Form. Naming the wrong people or failing to update documents can create a mess for your heirs.

The Motley Fool: Top 5 Beneficiary Form Boo Boo’s

Some people don’t know where to start. Having a guide to help you update your forms can make the whole process fairly easy. Get a Free Copy of a “Retirement Plan Beneficiary Audit” Here

The Beneficiary Audit Form is all you need to make sure everything is how you want it, and gets all that important information in one place.

Feel free to shoot us an email if you have any questions.

My Disclaimer. Neither Carl Ostenson nor Protect My IRA, are lawyers or accountants. So to make every effort to cover my butt in this litigious society that we have. Please consult with your attorney or tax professional. This post is for informational and educational purposes only. There that should do it.

 

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