Here for YOU Today and There for your FAMILY Tomorrow

What to Consider When Deciding on Beneficiaries


What to Consider When Deciding on Beneficiaries

Many of your financial assets allow you to name beneficiaries, including life insurance policies, pension plan accounts, annuities and IRAs. However, before you automatically write down your children or nieces or nephews, consider the tax consequences –both income tax and estate tax—that your decision may have on them.

The Cape May County Herald, in “Naming Beneficiaries: What You Need to Know,” advises that it’s important to know that beneficiary designations supersede a will. Designating your beneficiaries is critical. Make sure to talk with an experienced estate planning attorney like DANIEL T. FLEISCHER to be certain that your beneficiary arrangements are consistent with other estate planning documents and or your wishes.

There are several different financial products and investments that allow you to name a beneficiary, but each of them may have some subtle nuances that can be hard to flesh out and understand.

Remember that designating a beneficiary is also a legal arrangement. A beneficiary designation requires that you include certain language to be certain that your wishes are accurately recorded and carried out. That is why it is important to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney when deciding who to name as beneficiaries and how to properly document your wishes. In addition to the specific person you’ll name as your beneficiary, you should consider the following:

  • The age of the beneficiary, because most policies and plans won’t directly transfer assets to minors, until a court approves a trustee or guardian;
  • The ability of a beneficiary to manage assets, because if he or she has trouble with finances, a trust in the person’s name may be a better option than a direct transfer; and
  • When looking at your pension plan, the law requires a spouse to be the primary beneficiary of the account, unless he or she waives this designation in writing.

Get Professional Help. Beneficiary designations supersede your will, so it’s important to treat them with the same consideration that you do any other valuable assets. The same estate planning attorney who helps you with identifying your financial and estate planning goals and preparing legal documents will be able to help you to make smart decisions about beneficiaries.

Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!

  • My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate,
  • I have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
  • I have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida,
  • I am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, and
  • I am here for YOU today and there for your FAMILY tomorrow.

Reference: Cape May County (NJ) Herald (March 17, 2017) “Naming Beneficiaries: What You Need to Know”

Why would we recommend D.T.F.? Several Reasons: Your ability to explain complex estate problems, clearly and patiently; your total lack of arrogance and pretense; a strong feeling that you are motivated by what you perceive is best for your client, rather than what would generate the largest legal fees; finally, and importantly, you are a lovely guy. A.C.

Two words cannot sum up the entire process of creating my “trust.” I enjoyed your attention to detail, your patience of explaining terms and conditions until I understood, also giving me copies to read and understand. Thank you for your suggestions on what was best for “me” but still allowing me to make my choice. Most of all, thank you for thinking of “me.” Wells Fargo said “you were the best” I cannot deny that. Again thank you very much for everything. Anna is an asset or a compliment to the firm. She is warm and very caring. It was great doing business. Thank you.