If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your beneficiary designations on life insurance, retirement accounts, bank accounts and other assets where you are able list who to transfer the property to on your death, it’s good to review them and see if any updates are needed. Maybe the named beneficiary has passed away, is no longer the person you want to receive the money, or you have drafted a Will or Trust and your accounts are not in harmony with your estate planning documents.

For example, let’s say that you have a $100,000 bank account that you set up years ago and when setting it up you nominated your son as pay on death (POD) beneficiary, but due to changing family circumstances you now want everything to go to your daughter and you draft your Will in a way to distribute your estate to your daughter. Unfortunately, that $100,000 bank account will pass to your son because of the beneficiary designation and not your daughter under your Will. 

So make sure you review your beneficiary designations to ensure they are up to date and reflect your current wishes. 

Alternatively, your accounts can be in your trust (you don’t need to name a beneficiary on a trust account/property) and any time you update your trust, the assets in the trust will be distributed in that fashion. 

Also, be sure to consult an attorney before naming your trust beneficiary of any IRA or any retirement accounts.