Show Your Sweetheart That You Care – Don’t Accidentally Disinherit Your Spouse or Child

By Diane Weinberg

In addition to flowers, candy, and romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day, you can give another more valuable gift to your spouse and children. Take a few minutes to review the beneficiary designations to your insurance policies, retirement accounts, and annuities to ensure that the right person will receive an inheritance in the event that you unexpectedly pass. Unfortunately, we have had more than one client who left insurance money to a prior spouse because the client failed to update an insurance policy beneficiary designation. We also had a matter where the father named his daughter as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy pursuant to a divorce decree but did not provide for her in his will. When the divorce decree no longer required that he maintain the policy, the father allowed the policy to lapse, and he died having effectively disinherited his daughter.

Once an individual has passed, there is nothing that can be done to change the beneficiary designation. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about how to properly designate an individual, estate or trust as the beneficiary to an insurance policy, retirement account, or annuity. And, if it’s been a while since you reviewed your estate plan, we can help you with that, too.

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