Wednesday, December 19, 2012

He's Making a List, Checking It Twice....

As the winter holidays approach we are bombarded with songs and cheer.  And if you are an estate planning attorney some of those lyrics may jump out at you.  Take Santa Claus Is Coming To Town:

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
And checking it twice; 
Checking it twice....that is what catches my ear!  I cannot believe how many times I see a look of surprise come over someone's face when the learn the true name of who is listed on a beneficiary form.  A relative has died.  The family knows a life insurance or retirement account exists.  They assume the listed beneficiary is so-and-so.  But it turns out to ex-spouse.  This happened last week.  Thankfully the ex-spouse is the parent of those who thought they were inheriting.  And they were able to say "yes" when I asked "are you on good terms with your other parent?"

If you have beneficiary forms, when was the last time you checked to make sure they say what you think they say.  Clean them up now, while you can.  Life is short, and you may be leaving a pleasant or unpleasant surprise for the loved ones you leave behind.

Thanks for reading, and remember - a blog is not a lawyer.  Please consult with an attorney in your State for advice specific to your situation.

No comments: