Designating beneficiaries on financial accounts and in an estate plan is just part of preparing for the future. One’s assets need to go somewhere when one passes on; who wouldn’t want a say in who should get them? Unfortunately, many people in New Jersey believe that beneficiary designations and estate planning in general are a “one and done” kind of thing. The truth is, time passes and people change their minds about who their beneficiaries should be. If beneficiary designations are not updated, the wrong person could end up receiving assets following your passing.
Designating or changing beneficiary information is actually really simple. On financial accounts, such as bank accounts, insurance policies and retirement accounts, it is a matter of filling out a beneficiary form. This can usually be done online in a matter of minutes. For one’s estate plan, it is slightly more complicated.
When changing the beneficiaries listed on an estate plan, new estate planning documents may need to be drafted and signed. Although the overall process is not particularly arduous in nature, it may still provide valuable peace of mind to enlist the assistance of professional legal counsel to ensure it is done properly. It can take time and may seem like a hassle, but it will be time well spent as it will guarantee one’s current wishes are documented.
Estate planning and beneficiary designations are not things that should be completed and then forgotten about. They need to be reviewed and updated throughout the course of one’s life — particularly if they are completed at a relatively young age. New Jersey residents can turn to an experienced estate planning attorney who can help them with their initial estate plans and modifications that may be required down the road.