Three Things to Know About Naming Beneficiaries

Naming your beneficiaries is an important step in the estate planning process and there are a few things you should know about it:

  1. Beneficiary designations take precedence over other estate planning documents. The people you name as beneficiaries on your financial accounts, retirement accounts, titles, deeds, and life insurance policies will generally inherit those assets regardless of any instructions to the contrary that you put in your will or other estate planning documents.
  2. Assets with beneficiary designations generally avoid probate as long as you designate a person or entity other than your estate.
  3. You’ll need your spouse’s written consent to name someone else as the primary beneficiary of your 401(k) account or other qualified retirement plan account. You may also need your spouse’s consent for an IRA if you live in a community property state. Please note that Vermont is not a community property state.

With offices in Rutland and Williston, Vermont Copper Leaf Financial develops a customized wealth management plan designed to integrate every aspect of your financial life - including your estate planning considerations. Call us today at 802.878.2731 to schedule a strategy session and begin building your road map to financial success.

Article published in November 2019 edition of Eye on Money. If you would like to be added to our mail list please email