A good piece of advice is found in John Napolitano’s article for The Patriot Ledger, “MAKING CENTS: Don’t forget to review your beneficiaries.” Oftentimes, people forget to change their beneficiaries after death, birth, or divorce, and some people forget to ever add a beneficiary. It’s crucial to make sure that you have the correct beneficiary listed for your annuity products, IRAs, retirement plans, and life insurance. These assets can be the most valuable money a person has besides their home, so make sure that you have your beneficiary paperwork in order. Your beneficiary designation says who gets your money if you die. It is a legally binding document that even overrides a will, if the beneficiary designation is different.
Unfortunately, many people don’t designate a beneficiary for their annuities and other plans which can be tricky for many reasons. Your money will go directly to your estate, which means you will lose any tax benefits associated with your investment. Probate is also a concern when there is no listed beneficiary. Once you die and your annuity money goes into your estate, your family or friends have to wait for your will to go through probate court in order to get their inheritance. In the tough case where there is no will either, the money will be tied up in probate court for much longer. Adding a beneficiary to your annuity products is just as important as doing an annuity rates comparison and researching to find the best annuity for you.