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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Estate Planning > The Importance Of Updating Beneficiaries

The Importance Of Updating Beneficiaries


Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things a person will experience. While no one wants to think about the end of their life, a little bit of planning can make things easier during your family’s time of grief. One way to reduce the burden your family will carry after you pass away is to make your wishes known regarding how you want your property distributed after you pass away. Updating beneficiaries is a very important aspect of this. Below, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer explains the benefits of creating and updating beneficiaries periodically.

Property is Directly Transferred to Beneficiaries 

Retirement and investment accounts usually have designated beneficiaries. This means that after you pass away, the funds in those accounts will be directly transferred to the beneficiaries without the need to go through probate. However, if these accounts do not have a beneficiary when you pass away, or the beneficiary is out of date, this property may be subject to probate.

If retirement and investment accounts are subject to probate, it will take much longer for your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance. Probate also involves a number of expenses, time, effort, and additional stress. By naming and updating beneficiaries regularly, you can help your loved ones avoid this hassle.

Fewer Decisions for Your Heirs 

Designating beneficiaries on appropriate accounts can make things easier on your heirs in other ways, too. For example, by naming beneficiaries you make your wishes clear. This means that your loved ones do not have to make difficult decisions or become involved in disputes because certain accounts do not have named beneficiaries.

Named Beneficiaries Supersede Wills 

Named beneficiaries on accounts typically supersede whatever is in a will. This means that if you name a beneficiary on a retirement account but leave it to another person in your will, the named beneficiary takes priority. This is a very important distinction because if you fail to update your will, the named beneficiary will still receive the property you intended to leave to them.

It is Easy 

Retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s usually have beneficiary forms with the actual accounts. These forms allow you to name beneficiaries when you open the account, while still allowing you to review them later. If you have a regular investment account, you will have to ask for a transfer-on-death form to name your beneficiaries. In either case, designating beneficiaries is very easy.

A Recent Change of Circumstances 

Any time there is a significant change in your personal circumstances, it is important to review your beneficiaries. A significant change of circumstances can involve births, deaths, divorces, and other events that change your personal situation.

Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help with Your Case 

At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer can help with beneficiary designation and all other aspects of your estate plan to ensure it is comprehensive and will protect you and your family. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to get the legal advice you need.



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