Any reasonable California resident is likely going to feel an uptick of peace and relief in the immediate wake of working with a proven estate planning attorney and implementing a well-tailored strategy for protecting loved ones and addressing future contingencies.
A seasoned legal professional will be sure to look broadly and comprehensively at all elements that are materially relevant to an optimal planning outcome when working with a client. A key goal in that process is to ensure that they are fully and smartly addressed and integrated into an administration strategy that truly promotes a planner’s best interests.
It is a virtual certainty that a planning spotlight will be placed on beneficiary designations en route to promoting sound future-directed goals.
That focus is often of tremendous importance, and it can be flatly imperative for a client to timely revisit and, when necessary, make modifications to beneficiary elections.
Here’s why, as noted in a recent article highlighting beneficiary designations and the stark downside that can attach when they are not duly updated: Contrary to a widespread public belief, such designations trump directives stated in a will or trust vehicle.
Put another way: Generally speaking, if a designation names “Party A” in a life-insurance policy, pension or company-sponsored retirement account, with “Party B” being named in a will as the future recipient of monies held in such accounts, “whoever is named on the most-recent beneficiary form will get the money automatically if you die.”
That can obviously breed a harsh reality for any individual who is not cognizant of that fact.
It is fundamentally important for any estate planner to duly consider and appropriately tailor beneficiary designations.
An experienced legal professional who routinely works with diverse clients in estate planning matters will ensure that designations are timely flagged and appropriately followed through with, as well as periodically revisited by individuals and families with changing needs and expectations in the future.