Who is the beneficiary of your various assets? Probably not a question that came up at dinner with friends, but maybe one that should have. Not because your nosy friends need to know who you are leaving your property to, rather because it may be something that you haven’t checked on in years. But you should.
When life happens; loss of a loved one, divorce, family disagreement, etc. beneficiary designations are often times an afterthought and left just as they were from the date they were completed. Taking two minutes to review your beneficiaries can save you and your loved ones a lot of pain. This is not only for family members who are beneficiaries. If you are planning to leave your assets to a charity, University, or foundation; are they still operating the same way? An example of this is Vanderbilt University. In 2014 they split the school and the hospital into two separate taxable entities. If someone named their beneficiary as Vanderbilt prior to this, it is important that they review this to ensure that the money is still going to the department that they are wanting it to because both the hospital and the University each now have their own tax ID numbers. That is just one example, but I am sure there are many more out there just like it.
As a practice, this is something that we are actively helping our clients to verify and confirm in 2020. So, if you are a client of ours, you can expect us to bring this up to you in your annual review meeting. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “I have been thinking about verifying that”, give us a call and we will be more than happy to go through them with you on the phone and if we find that it needs to be updated, we can help you take care of that as well.
Having properly titled beneficiaries is something that when triggered can help loved ones to get things settled in a quick and easy manner. If not correct and properly titled, it may just be something your spouse or loved one comes knocking on your door six feet under to ask just what the heck you were thinking!