Many people ask us what would happen to their accounts in the event of their deaths, and while no one wants to think about it, it’s a situation for which it only makes sense to be prepared.
And in truth, many people are not.
IRAs, annuities, life insurance policies and qualified retirement accounts are set up with specific beneficiaries named. Usually there is also a secondary beneficiary named, who would receive the asset in the event the primary beneficiary is deceased.
Usually, when people name their designated beneficiaries, they still have many more years to live. Sometimes situations change in their lives. For instance, if a woman names her husband as her primary beneficiary on an account, then gets divorced some time later, she may not know that her ex-husband is still entitled to those assets upon her death unless she changes her beneficiary designation.
Most people will remember to change their wills upon such an occurrence, but it’s not uncommon that they would overlook similar changes to financial accounts. In fact, many people would be surprised to know that beneficiary designations on financial accounts tend to override wills. That means if your will says your son gets your savings, but the account designates your ex-husband, your ex-husband likely has the legitimate legal claim to the money.
It’s a good idea to double-check with your financial institution and make sure your beneficiary designations are what you want them to be. It’s a fairly simple process, but no one can do it for you once you’ve passed away.
Have questions about setting up your beneficiaries or you’d like to set up a no-cost consultation with the Investment & Retirement Center located at First Financial Federal Credit Union? Contact us.
Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free 800-369-2862. Nondepositinvestment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members. FR071205-11F9