Angela C. Artherton

Caring and Client-Focused Advocacy

What are some mistakes you can make while choosing beneficiaries?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Estate Planning

When it comes to planning for the future, selecting beneficiaries is an important aspect of estate management. This decision requires careful consideration, as mistakes can lead to unintended consequences and disputes.

Knowing more about common errors individuals make while designating beneficiaries can help you during this time.

Ignoring tax implications

The tax consequences of beneficiary designations often go overlooked. Certain assets may have additional tax complications upon inheritance for some people. Not planning for this can lead to a loss of overall value for the assets passed on to beneficiaries.

Failing to have a back-up choice

Another misstep is not considering other beneficiaries. Life is unpredictable, and it is wise to plan for unforeseen events. Without naming secondary beneficiaries, if the primary beneficiary is unable to inherit, the asset distribution may become entangled in legal processes or unintended disputes.

Forgetting your intentions

Miscommunication can lead to unexpected outcomes. Failing to discuss beneficiary decisions with family members may result in surprises and disputes after your passing. Open communication can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smoother transition of assets.

Neglecting to update documents

One frequent mistake is neglecting to update beneficiaries. Relationships evolve, family structures shift and unexpected events happen. Not revisiting and revising beneficiary choices means people may distribute your assets contrary to your original intentions.

Between 20% to 30% of households get inheritances. With some thought about the years to come, you can ensure that other people carry out your wishes and pass on your important assets. Staying calm and focused while crafting your estate plan can help you catch any problems.