Take Care of Your Loved Ones by Updating Your Beneficiary Forms

The saddest phone call an advisor will ever receive is that a client passed away. This happened to me recently. One of my dear clients, a former school teacher, passed away a month ago at the tender young age of fifty-nine.

Her children will inherit her retirement accounts. But if something unforeseen happened to you, who would get yours? Would your assets go to those you choose?

If you’re not certain who your retirement account would go to, it would be a good thing to double check.

Updating your beneficiary forms is one of those ‘important but not urgent’ personal finance To Do’s. Which means it can get put off until it’s too late.

When was the last time you spoke to your advisor about updating your beneficiary forms?

Life happens and certain life events will trigger the need to update your beneficiary designations.

Have you recently experienced one of the following life events?

  • Adoption

  • Births – children or grandchildren

  • Death

  • Divorce

  • Marriage or remarriage

  • Special needs dependents

  • Other life events

Updating your beneficiary forms is as simple as going online to make the necessary changes or asking your financial institution for a Change of Beneficiary form. Your financial advisor or insurance agent would be happy to help you with it as well.

Generally speaking, beneficiaries named on your retirement accounts supersede accommodations in your will. Even if your will is more recent. Which is why it’s important to keep them updated.

Here’s an article that will help you understand the basics of updating your beneficiary forms: An Estate Planning Must: Update Your Beneficiaries.

Before it’s too late, take care of your loved ones by updating your beneficiary forms.


Patti Fagan, an award-winning financial coach, is an expert and sought-after speaker on Women, Money and Retirement. Over the last twelve years, she’s been helping hundreds of women achieve financial security for their retirement years through teaching workshops coaching and blogging. Patti is passionate about empowering women with their money mindset and financial habits because she wants women to be financially secure, both now and in their retirement years. For money and retirement planning tips and free downloads, visit MontereyMoneyCoach.com.