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Update Your Beneficiary Forms

Any time you experience a major life change — birth, death, marriage, divorce — you should review your beneficiary designations and update them as needed.

Correctly completing your beneficiary forms and keeping them up to date is just as important (more so, in some cases) as having a will, for two reasons.

Two Good Reasons

(1) Current forms ensure that your assets will go where you want them to go (one or more individuals, a charity, a trust, your estate) regardless of what your will says.

(2) The transfers avoid the time-consuming and potentially costly probate process.

Multiple Accounts

Several types of accounts can be transferred through proper beneficiary designation: bank accounts, savings bonds, certificates of deposit, brokerage firm accounts, employer-sponsored retirement plans, individual retirement accounts, life insurance policies, annuities, and Section 529 college savings plans.

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