Call For Your Free Consultation
720-588-4894
Attorneys
View Practice Areas

Don't forget your beneficiary designations when estate planning

Estate planning is complicated, and needs careful attention. Many people put it off, however, because it involves thinking about difficult topics like:

  • Our own mortality
  • The potential for incapacity or invalidity
  • Naming powers of attorney and health care proxies to handle financial matters and make medical decisions on our behalf if we are unable to do so
  • Gathering financial documentation, including bank and retirement account information, real estate titles, deeds, insurance policies
  • Inventorying assets
  • Making decisions about how our assets should be dispersed after we pass
  • Funeral/memorial arrangements

Even though these things are hard to ponder, estate planning is necessary, regardless of wealth level.

Do you have minor children? You need an estate plan to name a guardian for them.

Have a chronic condition that might one day incapacitate you? You need an estate plan to set forth your health care wishes and ensure eligibility for much-needed government benefits.

Would you like to leave money to a much-loved charitable organization, school, public institution or cause? You need an estate plan to transfer the funds and establish any terms you may have on your bequest (loaning a valuable artwork to a museum on the condition that it not be sold, leaving money to your alma mater to set up scholarships for women, etc.).

Another important component of estate planning involves naming beneficiaries for bank accounts, retirement funds, investment accounts and insurance policies. Each of these will need their own beneficiary designation, and you need to review them periodically, especially after major life events like:

  • A marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • A child reaching the age of majority (thus not needing a guardian to handle financial matters)
  • Death of a spouse or close family member
  • Prolonged estrangement of a friend or family member that may have been previously named as a beneficiary

Failing to update beneficiary designations could easily result in people you may not want inheriting your hard-earned money. Imagine that your marriage ended very unpleasantly after a decade. During your time together, you had named your spouse as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy and retirement accounts. If you don't take the additional step of updating all your beneficiary designations after the divorce, your former spouse will inherit these assets when you're gone.

There are many different aspects, nuances and technicalities involved in estate planning. For questions and advice about your estate planning needs, contact an experienced attorney in your area.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Get Your Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Denver Office

4155 East Jewell Avenue, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80222

Phone: 720-588-4894
Fax: 303-758-8237

Maps & Directions

Satellite Locations

We have office locations in Arvada, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, Lakewood, Littleton, and Lone Tree.

View Satellite Locations