Having a beneficiary in your will is going to play a very important role in your estate planning. There is little use for any sort of planning for after your death without at least one person or organization that will inherit your estate, so it is crucial to choose wisely.
A beneficiary will gain property, money, or other advantages from your estate through a will from resources such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, and the like. The following will explain more about beneficiaries and why they are so important:
Who Can Be a Beneficiary?
A beneficiary in a will is named in the document as the person who will receive an inheritance from the estate as named by the deceased. He or she will need to have met any requirements laid out by the will in order to be eligible for a payment from the estate. For instance, a parent that wants to leave his or her child money in the event of death can stipulate that the money only be used for college. You can also designate a certain age at which a beneficiary can receive the inheritance. You can name anyone you wish as a beneficiary in your will or in your life insurance policy.
Why Should You Check Your Beneficiaries Periodically?
It is important that you look over you will from time to time to ensure that you still want to leave your beneficiaries in place. Over time, you may decide that you wish to leave your estate to someone else or include someone who was not yet born when you initially made your will. If you are including a charity in your will, be sure to check the charity to see if their values still line up with yours or if they are even still in operation.
Another important reason to review your beneficiaries is in the event of divorce or change in marital status. If you have divorced and left your former spouse as the beneficiary, you obviously will want to change that. If you are remarried, you may wish to name your new spouse or one or more of your adult children as beneficiaries.
Not taking the time to check the beneficiaries in your will can have major drawbacks once you pass away. If you put your estate in the hands of the wrong person, it could be very heartbreaking for your loved ones.
Estate planning is an ongoing process. Be sure to meet with your probate attorney from time to time so that you can update your will as needed.