Ask The Lawyer By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq. It’s essential to know the difference between your Will and your designated beneficiaries for your estate plan
QUESTION: I am single now, and have a will leaving my estate in equal shares to my children. I also have several accounts established before I had a family that named my sister as my beneficiary. Now that I have my own children, I no longer want my sister or her family to inherit my assets. Will the personal representative of my will divide those accounts listing my sister as beneficiary to my children or do I need to make a change?
ANSWER: You need to make a change. Most people have accounts with named beneficiaries, including retirement plans, life insurance policies, or other financial assets. As time passes and your life changes, the people you formerly named as beneficiaries are also likely to change.
Financial assets with named beneficiaries pass directly to the named beneficiary after you die, even though your Will may state you wish to have your assets divided in equal shares among your children, omitting your sister. If you have an account with your sister as a named beneficiary and your current wish is to leave that account to your children, you need to change the beneficiaries listed on the asset from your sister to your children with the financial institution where the asset is managed or held.
I would like to personally invite you to learn more about these and other important estate planning documents and the basics of estate planning at my estate planning seminar entitled, Putting Your House in Order. The next seminar will be held Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at Crary Campus, 501 N. Cass Lake Rd., Waterford Township, MI, 48328 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. If you have questions, call us at (248) 247-3300. If you plan for your future, you get the peace of knowing that the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate are protected. Discover for yourself and your loved ones why putting your house in order is a good idea for adults of any age.
The lawyers of GWINN TAURIAINEN PLLC are experienced attorneys with a knack for making the topics easy to understand, as well as enjoyable. Previous students have described this popular course as “fun, informative, and a great presentation.” Check back with us for more details and how to register.
ASK THE LAWYER
By: Daniel A. Gwinn, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law