Have You Updated Your Beneficiary Designations?
When was the last time you updated your beneficiary designations? Have you ever updated them?
Many people designate beneficiaries for their life insurance and retirement accounts at the time they get the policy or start the account. And then they never think about it again.
In the meantime, your life may have changed. Perhaps you were single and now you are married. Or perhaps you were married and now you are single. Maybe you now have children or grandchildren. Regardless, your life is different, and you want different beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, beneficiary designations do not get updated automatically. You have to take the time to fill out the forms or call the companies to get it updated.
To make this process easier I recommend that you keep a list of your policies and accounts and the beneficiaries you have designated. Then every 3-5 years check your list and update your beneficiaries as needed. You should also check the list when you experience a major life event, such as marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, birth of a child, or a job change. Remember to update your list if you make any changes.
This list should be kept with the rest of your estate plan in a prominent place.