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Beneficiary Designations

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MJ: Hey welcome everybody to our next video and today’s topic we are going to be discussing Beneficiary Designations. Beneficiaries are very important to make sure that you have proper beneficiary designation for all of your estate planning and all of your financial plans. So, Nicole why don’t you start us off, what is a beneficiary?  

Nicole: A beneficiary is a person you designate to receive your assets in the event of your death. So, your life insurance policy, retirement accounts, investment accounts, those will all be designated to a specific beneficiary who you choose to receive your assets upon your death. A contingent beneficiary would just be a backup for your primary beneficiary. If anything were to happen to your primary beneficiary your contingent beneficiary would take the primary beneficiaries place.  

MJ: Can you have multiple primary or contingent beneficiaries?  

Nicole: Absolutely, as long as your beneficiary designations add up to 100% for each primary and contingent, you are fine. 

MJ: Ok, so if you have maybe a husband and wife and two children. Primary beneficiary might be your spouse and the two contingent beneficiaries may be your children at 50% each?  

Nicole: Absolutely. If anything were to happen to that beneficiary designation and your beneficiaries were unable to take or something went wrong in the process, if they were improperly designated, those funds would go straight to your estate rather then to the person and they would go through the probate process.  

MJ: What happens if you have your trust as your primary beneficiary?  

Nicole: It’s almost the same as if it were going to the estate, except it would go outside of probate to your trust and via the terms of your trust, so your trust would be what determines who receives those assets and in what amounts.  

 MJ: What are some life events that might cause someone to change their beneficiary designations? 

Nicole: There are plenty. Death of the primary beneficiary or contingent, a marriage, divorce, illness, someone receiving government benefits or even a birth.  

MJ: And speaking of, my beneficiary designation changed when I met my nephew, so lucky little guy is part of my estate plan.  

Nicole: it can be for a good thing too! 

MJ: If you have any questions on beneficiary designations and would like to reach out to Nicole and I, you can do so with the contact information at the end of this video or you can leave a comment in the comment section below. 

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