Planning for Special Circumstances

Don’t Forget To Coordinate Beneficiary Designations

by Rania Combs

will imageSome people go through the time and expense of making a Will but fail to change beneficiary designation on non-probate assets such as life insurance. This can affect your overall distribution scheme.

Once you have finalized and signed your Will, it is essential that you change your beneficiary designations to correspond with the way your Will disposes of your assets. Otherwise, those assets will not be distributed in the manner specified by your Will.

For example, if a deceased person owns investment accounts and named his child as the beneficiary, that investment account would pass to the child automatically when he dies regardless of what his Will says.

Or, if spouses own their property as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, the deceased’s one-half interest would pass automatically to the surviving spouse upon his death, regardless of what his Will says.

These types of assets are said to “pass outside the will” and pass pursuant to contract law.

An attorney can provide you with details regarding how to designate your beneficiaries to ensure that your full estate is distributed according to your wishes.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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