Part of an effective estate plan that an estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina may create is the use of beneficiary designation forms. While a will or trust may be the cornerstone of an estate plan, beneficiary designation forms can dispose of certain assets, such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and bank accounts. Having an estate planning attorney in Harnett County North Carolina review your beneficiary designation forms can protect you from unwanted consequences.
In some cases, individuals sign beneficiary designation forms and do not update them. During the course of several years, many events in life can change. A married person may get divorced. A single person who listed his or her parents may now want to list a spouse. A following out may affect a person’s desire to provide anything to an outdated named beneficiary.
The problem with outdated beneficiary designations is that the court usually does not have the power to override such a beneficiary that was originally contemplated by the decedent. The decedent can no longer state his or her preference. Therefore, the court must go by what was written on a paper years ago. Therefore, unintended consequences may result, such as an ex benefiting from the decedent’s death. Furthermore, a will or other document cannot overrule a beneficiary designation form, so it is imperative that these forms be reviewed periodically by an estate planning attorney and updated to reflect your current wishes.
Additionally, the beneficiaries named in a will or trust should also be reviewed and updated periodically. Circumstances may change that affect your final wishes. For example, a child may have special needs and may be in greater need of resources than other children. Getting remarried may also trigger a desire to change such arrangements.