Beneficiary reviews

Helping you protect, preserve and pass on your assets

Reviewing beneficiary designations is a crucial, but often-overlooked task. However, it takes on a heightened level of importance when you stop to consider the fact that your beneficiary designations supersede the intentions stated in your will, which could potentially put your legacy at risk.

The fact of the matter is that many individuals neglect to update their beneficiary designations, putting in jeopardy the ability to pass along retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies and more according to their true intent.

Common mistakes to avoid

While reviewing the beneficiary designations on your accounts may seem straightforward, it's important to take note of common mistakes. In particular, be sure to:

  • Update beneficiaries when additional children are born.
  • Update beneficiaries immediately following a divorce.
  • For younger adults in particular, update beneficiary designations immediately following a marriage or childbirth, especially if a parent was previously named as a beneficiary.
  • Update beneficiaries following a death in the family to avoid naming anyone who has pre-deceased you.
  • Name contingent beneficiaries.

In addition, it's important to be aware that having a will in place may not be sufficient to transfer your assets to the appropriate people and places upon your passing. As mentioned above, beneficiary designations take priority over what is written in your will.

Regular beneficiary reviews can help avoid surprises down the road, and can go a long way toward preventing a situation from becoming problematic for your heirs.

If you have any questions regarding beneficiary reviews, or if you'd like assistance in conducting your own, please don't hesitate to call PNC today.