Beneficiary Designations

Why naming beneficiaries is important

For assets that move outside the will
and probate process, if the named
beneficiary conflicts with anything
stated in the will, then the named
beneficiary prevails. This means the
named beneficiary will receive the
asset, rather than anyone else
named in the will, and usually the
asset will not have to go through
probate.

Thus, it’s essential to name
beneficiaries on assets that allow it
—such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and
brokerage accounts—and to keep
those designations up to date. Note
that, generally, if you are married
and you name anyone other than
your spouse as a 401(k) beneficiary,
consent of your spouse is required.

Also, IRA’s and 401(k)s are subject to the forced portion if there are forced heirs.

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