Making use of beneficiary designations may help to ensure that assets are transferred in a timely manner after you pass away. However, it’s important to understand that they take precedence over anything that you write in your will. It’s also a good idea to review a designation form regularly to make sure that the proper person receives your Georgia home or other items.
When to review an estate plan
One of the biggest mistakes people make is failing to update beneficiary designation forms after a major life event such as a divorce or death in the family. You should have an estate plan review after getting married or after a child or grandchild is born. This may prevent you from accidentally transferring assets to an estranged spouse or sibling as opposed to your oldest child or closest friend.
Avoid naming minors as beneficiaries
Minors are not allowed to own property in their own name. Instead, you would need to designate a custodian who will oversee a child or grandchild’s inheritance until the beneficiary reaches the age of majority. Otherwise, an asset designated for a minor will go back to your estate where it will likely be subject to probate. This might result in an heir not receiving a full inheritance or other issues that might delay the process of settling your affairs.
When structured properly, an estate plan may make it easier for surviving family members to respect your final wishes. It may also make it possible to manage your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated or simply want someone else to make decisions on your behalf. Beneficiary forms can generally be altered or revoked at any time assuming that you are of sound mind.