Beneficiary Designations and Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, most people think of a will.  Certainly wills are important: your most valuable tool for communicating your wishes for the passage of your property after death.  However, many people don’t realize that in actuality the greater share of your estate may be in accounts that can readily pass by beneficiary designation.  Accounts such as banking, CD’s, brokerage, retirement accounts, annuities, and life insurance policies are prime examples of accounts that will pass according to the beneficiary you have chosen.  These types of assets only pass by will if either the beneficiary designation fails or if you choose the estate to receive the assets.  It is also important to note that beneficiary designations always win – they trump the will language, so a careful consideration of how both your will and the beneficiary designations interact is a crucial part of the process.

This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.