Be clear: The importance of designating beneficiaries

Making sure who gets what in your will is a critical part of an estate plan. If it’s not done right, assets can be diverted from those intended to receive them, increasing the likelihood of litigation. The National Law Review takes a look at why it’s important to designate precisely which beneficiaries should receive specific assets in an estate plan.

Beneficiary designations override the terms of your Will or Trust with respect to that asset. For example, if a friend is designated as the beneficiary on your life insurance because the form was completed before you had kids, that policy will be paid to the friend upon death even if all of your other estate plan documents direct your assets to your children. Or, alternatively, if no beneficiary is listed we may end up having to open a court process to administer the assets.

It’s important to periodically review the recipients in an estate plan. Click here to read more about the items you should consider.

6 common myths about estate planning

Everyone needs an estate plan, but some people still don’t get around to creating one. It’s easy to see why: setting one up can quickly become daunting, according to US News and World Report. There are also some misconceptions about what an estate plan can and cannot do. Here’s a list of six things that people planning an estate may be mistaken about, including the belief that estate plans are only for the wealthy.

The problems with doing your own estate planning

Thinking about saving some money by doing your own estate planning? Perhaps you’ve decided to purchase one of those do-it-yourself wills that are available online. However, doing your own will isn’t always the best route for many people. The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch take a look at some of the reasons why trying to save a little now could cost your family a lot later.