Protecting loved ones is often one of the primary goals expressed by California residents. There are many ways in which this goal is accomplished; loved ones can be protected both physically and financially. One way in which they are protected financially is through estate planning and ensuring that asset protection concerns have been addressed.
One of the first steps in estate planning and protecting assets is to make sure that all the necessary documents are in order. Creating a will is an important part of this process. The will should itemize assets and identify to whom these assets should be transferred. For assets that do not have specific beneficiary documents attached to them, a will is the document which indicates beneficiaries.
There are some assets, however, for which a specific beneficiary document is attached. These assets often include retirement accounts, life insurance policies and annuities. Primary beneficiaries and secondary beneficiaries can be named, and these beneficiaries can often be changed as circumstances change. As with most private institutions and businesses, there are specific beneficiary designation forms that federal employees will need to complete.
Both a will and specific beneficiary documents are important in the estate planning process. Although the will does name beneficiaries for specific assets, the beneficiary documents generally supersede directives within the will. For this reason, it is important to review all of these documents on a regular basis. Estate planning is an important part of the asset protection process. Many California residents work to make sure that they and their loved ones are protected now and in the future.
Source: fedsmith.com, “Protect Your Family with Important Estate Planning Documents“, Carol Schmidlin, Dec. 20, 2016