It’s no question that estate planning can seem daunting. Beyond your last will and testament, there are a bevy of other documents that may seem unnecessary, duplicative, or just plain overwhelming. You may think making beneficiary designations, or forms that allow you to transfer assets directly to individuals without dealing with your will and the probate process, simplifies the entire endeavor. Unfortunately, there are a number of pitfalls that can happen when individuals simply settle for beneficiary designations without utilizing other estate planning tools with an experienced attorney.
1.) Your Beneficiary May Pass Away
Although this may seem obvious, many people do not consider that their beneficiary may pass away. With multiple assets, you may forget to change your designation in the event of your beneficiary’s death, leaving your asset stranded. You may be incapacitated in some way, which could render you unable to update your designations. Without proper mechanisms in place, you would be left without an avenue for passing on your assets.
2.) Your Beneficiary May Not Follow Your Wishes
You may name a beneficiary with the idea that they equitably share the asset or account you’ve left to them with other individuals, such as among siblings or children. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case. Proper planning can ensure your wishes are carried out exactly as you specify, without leaving it up to chance.