Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Many of your assets will pass to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries. They include your IRA, life insurance, annuities, payable-on-death and transfer-on-death bank and brokerage accounts.


There, you should regularly review your beneficiary designations. Even if you can’t find the paperwork, you can call your bank or investment company to find out whom you’ve named. If your former choice is not your current choice, make the change.

Why is this so important? Because a beneficiary you’ve named will collect the account’s proceeds after your death, no matter what it says in your will.

Also, the person you’ve named as a beneficiary may be losing mental capabilities or may have shown a tendency to squander money. Leaving a substantial amount outright to such an individual probably is not a good idea. Instead, you can name a trust as your account beneficiary and name the person you’d like to enrich as the trust beneficiary. A trustee you name can see that the money is distributed prudently.