Is It Time to Review the Beneficiaries of Your Estate Plan?

Posted on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 ©2021 Drucker & Scaccetti

While our own mortality is something we rarely want to think about, it is necessary to plan for it in order to provide for our family and loved ones once we are gone.  As tax advisors, part of our role is to ensure you are thinking about your estate plan and the beneficiaries of the wealth you have worked so hard to build over the course of your life. Choosing your beneficiaries, or what your beneficiaries receive, is not a “one-and-done” event--situations are not static and change over time. Accordingly, estate plans should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the goals are consistent with both your financial and non-financial objectives.


Life-changing events such as births, marriages, divorces, untimely deaths and remarriages are all triggers to consider updating estate planning documents and revisiting the choice of beneficiaries.  Even the changing of a financial or legal advisor or an employment change can be a reason to review plans.


There are several things to consider when choosing beneficiaries for the various parts of your estate plan, such as the beneficiary’s age, marital status or potential issues with creditors.  Choosing beneficiaries without advice from another informed person, such as a spouse or trusted advisor, should be avoided if possible.  If these types of decisions are not made in a thoughtful manner, the long-term impact on your estate plan may be contrary to your wishes.


The Tax Warriors® are among the best at reviewing not only the plan for your disposition of assets, but the tax apportionment language in a will.  We can determine how any taxes will be allocated among the assets. 


An estate plan may not work as intended if the plan does not coordinate your non-probate assets (those that pass outside of your will) with your probate assets (those that pass within your will) with an eye to who the beneficiaries are of each.  Our team at Drucker & Scaccetti gives clients a holistic view of their plan, so the decisions about beneficiaries are not made based solely on emotion, birth order or other unreliable influencers.


Now that tax season is over for individuals (unless you filed an extension), it’s a good time to focus on your estate plans and the beneficiaries you have named.  For 25 years, our highly skilled advisors have helped clients with trusts and estate plans.  We can do the same for you. Call us at (215) 665-3960 for a confidential assessment of your current estate plan or to create a new estate plan.

Topics: Trusts, Death, Tax, Divorce, beneficiaries, Estate Plan, birth

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