Beneficiary Designations

Charlotte Estate Planning Services

Many people assume that a Will controls the disposition of all assets at the time of an individual’s death; today, especially, that is not necessarily true.  Most people have retirement benefits (e.g., 401(k), IRA, etc.), annuities, and/or life insurance policies, which can have primary and secondary/contingent beneficiaries.  It is important that the beneficiary designations work with your estate plan (e.g., your will, any trust, etc.).

Contact Weaver, Bennett & Bland at (704) 844-1400 to schedule a FREE 1 hour initial estate planning consultation in the Charlotte area. Our experienced estate planning attorneys who can help you with either your North Carolina or South Carolina estate planning needs.

What are the benefits of beneficiary designations?

To the extent that an individual beneficiary or beneficiaries survives you, or is in existence, or a trust receives the assets, then the assets with beneficiary designations can avoid an estate administration and may avoid the creditor claims of a decedent.

Some assets have special rules which apply to them to the extent that they are payable to trusts, such as retirement plans and/or qualified annuities.  To the extent that those rules are not complied with, then negative income tax results can occur.

Why shouldn’t I leave my assets directly to certain beneficiaries?

To the extent that there are minor, spendthrift or disabled beneficiaries of these assets, it isn’t wise to have these assets be paid directly to those beneficiaries.  In addition, to the extent such assets are paid to your estate, those assets would be subject to the claims of your creditors, taxes and costs, and expenses of your estate.  Meet with one of our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys to discuss your specific situation.