In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses why it’s important to keep your life insurance beneficiaries up to date.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
I want to talk to you today about an aspect of estate planning that, I know from experience in dealing with people, is something that, unfortunately, gets commonly overlooked. And that is, I’ll have people change their estate plan, change the terms of their will, change the terms of a living trust, especially when someone has died and they, unfortunately, don’t change the beneficiary on their life insurance policy.
One of the particular problems with that is, that if you have, well, here’s the most common problem: husband and wife name each other as beneficiaries, and one spouse dies, and the other one, who is still around, still has that, now deceased spouse, as a beneficiary. And, maybe it’s an old policy, before the kids were old enough so, you know, hasn’t named secondary beneficiaries. If that person dies, and there is no longer a name to beneficiary, the beneficiary is going to be their estate, and, in order for the beneficiary to be their estate, there needs to be an estate proceeding, which is a waste of time and money for an avoidable problem.
Suggestion here, if you have a living trust, and you name your living trust as beneficiary, the living trust will speak to those possibilities of people dying out of order and so, you don’t need to worry about this problem if you have a living trust. Hope this helps, thanks!
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.