Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, August 21, 2014

5 Common Mistakes When Designating a Beneficiary

WorriedMisunderstandings of how beneficiary designations are treated or lack of care in filling out the forms can result in troublesome problems later. Here are five common mistakes made when choosing and designating account beneficiaries.

  1. Leaving the signature and date lines blank
  2. Not double checking the math to make sure that the total designation equals 100% when choosing multiple beneficiaries
  3. Attempting to update beneficiary designations through a will
  4. Relying on a divorce decree to remove beneficiary status of a former spouse
  5. Forgetting about beneficiary designations and not updating after a major life event

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

See Sandra Feingerts, Are Your Beneficiary Designations Heir Tight?, Fisher & Phillips, Aug. 1, 2014.


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