How to choose a beneficiary

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2017 | Blog, Powers Of Attorney

Nevada residents who have created an estate plan may not have taken beneficiary designations into account. These forms may have been filled out along with a lot of employment paperwork, and people could forget about it. Therefore, beneficiary designations may need reviewing regularly. Otherwise, a person may fail to remove an ex-spouse or add a new one. There are a few points to keep in mind when choosing a beneficiary.

There are benefits to spouses inheriting IRAs and 401(k)s since they can roll these into their own retirement accounts, so a person might want to consider leaving different assets to other loved ones. Whatever a person’s choice, the beneficiary designation should be consistent with the rest of the estate plan. A beneficiary designation generally overrides instructions in a will or trust.

It is possible to add contingent beneficiaries in the event that the primary beneficiary dies, and there can also be multiple beneficiaries. The latter is a better solution than naming one beneficiary who is expected to distribute the assets to others.

For minor children, either a guardian must be named to manage the money or a trust must be set up since minor children cannot receive inheritances outright. Trusts may also be necessary for relatives with special needs to prevent them from losing government benefits.

People may want to talk to an attorney about the many different types of trusts and their uses. Trusts are not just for wealthy families. Trust planning may be used to manage money for irresponsible relatives, lower taxes on a home or donate to charity among other uses. It is important to choose the right trustee to manage the trust. This could be a loved one or it could be an attorney or a bank.