Follow These Tips for Naming Beneficiaries

To help asset transfers go more smoothly, follow these tips for naming beneficiaries:

1) Fill forms out completely. When listing beneficiaries, include full names, Social Security numbers and relationships to you. If you have multiple beneficiaries specify the percentage split of your assets and make sure numbers total 100 percent.

2) Use words precisely. Money goes to a primary beneficiary or beneficiaries. Only if there are no primary beneficiaries do contingent beneficiaries receive funds. Don't make the mistake of listing one child as primary and another as contingent.

3) Stay current. Life events such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or the death of a beneficiary are good reasons to review your paperwork. Check annually, perhaps after you've filed your tax return.

4) Take care with your estate. Naming it as a beneficiary instead of a person or trust (if you have one) may create unnecessary expense and hassle.

5) Don't wing it. Got a complicated financial or familial situation? Uncertain of any of the rules? Then work with an Attorney. A little money spent up front can save a lot of anger and anguish after you're gone. Call Alex Matulewicz for a free consultation at 508-660-0331.