Personalized Estate Planning Services 

How do employee benefits fit into estate planning?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Starting a new job in Colorado can be exciting, but one part of a new job is filling out a lot of paperwork, such as tax forms and corporate policies. And, you may have signed up for the benefit packages that came with your job, such as life insurance, retirement accounts and stock options. When doing so, you may have chosen a beneficiary and a secondary beneficiary who would receive these assets upon your death.

Some people may name their spouse and their children if they have them as beneficiaries to these types of assets. However, if a person later goes on to execute a will or trust, they must keep these accounts in mind. This is because these types of assets cannot be inherited through a will or trust, but, instead, will pass directly to the named beneficiary. While most of the time this is okay, there are times when this situation could become problematic.

Especially if a person was a young adult when they signed up for a life insurance policy or retirement account, their desired beneficiaries may have changed as they aged. For example, they might have more children, divorce a spouse, or remarry. However, if they did not go back and change the beneficiaries to reflect their new life circumstances, these assets might pass on to the initial beneficiary, rather than the one they would have wanted later in life.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to change beneficiaries on these types of assets. Usually a trip to your human resources department or estate planning attorney is all it takes. However, it is important to keep these assets in mind as you age, so your wishes regarding who will inherit them are met.