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What are some mistakes you can make while choosing beneficiaries?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2023 | Estate Planning

When writing out your will, you may begin to think seriously about who you want to leave your assets and money to after you die. Taking the correct steps when you choose people to fill this role can make a big difference.

Avoiding mistakes includes accounting for small details that can make your loved one struggle to legally access their inheritance.

Ignoring their ages and exact names

According to Kiplinger, you must make sure to write the exact name of the person you want as a beneficiary, including name changes due to marriage. Even minor misspellings can potentially affect your loved one during this process. Someone in your family with a similar first and last name may argue incorrectly that you meant to leave it to them if you do not specify.

You may also run into issues if the person you want as a beneficiary is still a minor. These children will not get any of these assets directly due to their age, so they may need an adult custodian to get what you want to leave them.

Assuming people will know your intentions

Although you may have an idea in mind of who you want to leave your personal items to, failing to write anyone on the official document is a risky idea. When probate happens, your executor will rely on what you wrote instead of what you said. If you change your mind, you should update your will and explicitly state who you want as your beneficiaries.

Taking the time to check what you write in your will is important when it comes to choosing your beneficiaries.