When you open an investment or retirement account or get a life insurance policy, you will need to designate a beneficiary so the assets can pass as you wish without probate. Most people typically name a spouse, children or close relatives as beneficiaries; however, you are allowed to name anyone you want, including a charity or even a friend.
When choosing a beneficiary, consider the common needs of those closest to you. For example, your children may need money for college or a new business, your parents may need financial support or you may wish to leave something for your grandchildren. You can and should name more than one beneficiary, in case your primary choice should predecease you.
You also need to make sure your beneficiary designation is not in conflict with the instructions you have left in your will. If it does, the beneficiary form will take precedence.
If you want to leave these assets for minor children or those with special needs, you should consider setting up a trust. A trust will not only provide tax advantages, it will also protect assets from creditors or spendthrift relatives. Name a responsible person as trustee so your wishes are carried out.
The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.