Shelter-in-Place Financial To-Do #1: Update Your Beneficiary Designations

Shelter-in-Place Financial To-Do #1: Update Your Beneficiary Designations

For many people, finding time to keep on top of financial matters is challenging. But given many Americans have additional time these next few weeks as the country works through Covid-19, this could be an excellent time to make progress on critical but simple financial matters.

Cornerstone will share during this time ideas to help you make progress on these matters, starting today with updating Beneficiary Designations. Please pass along to anyone you feel may be interested in this topic.

Assets pass to beneficiaries, including spouses, in different forms. The most common tools used to distribute assets are trusts, wills, and a document commonly referred to as Beneficiary Designation. Beneficiary Designation assets are not transferred to loved ones by trusts or wills. Instead, these assets go directly to the beneficiaries named. For this reason, this is an essential tool that requires attention.

Here’s a list of assets that are distributed via beneficiary designation:

  • 401k, 403b and 457 accounts
  • IRA and Roth IRA accounts
  • Defined Benefit accounts
  • Life Insurance policies
  • Annuities
  • Payable on Death (POD) bank accounts
  • Transfer on Death (TOD) investment accounts
  • Property that has joint tenancy with rights of survivorship

Most everyone saving for future needs owns at least one of these assets. The problem is, these assets are occasionally left unattended if there is a change in an investor’s life (death of a significant other, divorce, marriage, change in family and relationships, and so on). Unfortunately, we hear stories about loved ones who were devastated personally and financially due to an outdated beneficiary designation form.

If you have questions on how this all works, would like a thinking partner, or would like assistance on how to update your accounts, please contact Cornerstone for help. Reviewing beneficiary designation is part of our client planning process. We are happy to extend a complimentary review to you as a way to help you make the most of this time. And as an opportunity to learn more about how we can help in other areas.

This offer to review beneficiary designations is extended to your friends, family, and colleagues. While some people may have an investment or financial advisor, most don’t work with a Certified Financial Planner™. We are happy to fill in this gap if we can and help them with other questions they may have about their personal finances.

Right now, as we deal with Covid-19, we are walking through history. There is no need for you or your family and friends to walk through this alone.


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