Review, update beneficiaries, etc. annually to ensure wishes are carried out after death
LAS VEGAS – As anyone with seasonal allergies knows, spring is here, bringing with it that long-dormant motivation to clean out old closets and drawers and open the windows to get some fresh air into the house. Spring cleaning is a ritual in many families, but most people don’t think of looking at important documents as a part of this ritual.
“We should,” said Brooke Borg, founder and attorney for Borg Law Group. “Just as you clean out old closets and drawers, you should also review important documents on an annual basis to ensure they still match with your overall estate planning goals.”
A review of designated beneficiaries, ages of asset distribution and beneficiaries named on insurance and retirement plans is a great idea. Many times, either a change in financial information or family circumstances necessitates a change in such documents that doesn’t always occur.
“Years ago, a client of mine came into my office to review her estate plan. She was divorced and had a 9-year-old daughter. When I asked her if she had reviewed her beneficiary designations on her life insurance, she said, ‘I’m pretty sure it is my daughter.’ I suggested we call the life insurance company while she was in my office just to be sure. When we called, much to her surprise, the primary beneficiary was her ex-husband,” Borg said. “Needless to say, she was mortified and asked me to change it right away! I think her exact words were, ‘Over my dead body will he get that money.’ I said, ‘Actually, that is exactly what would have happened if we didn’t change this.’”
That is one of many stories Borg said she could tell about the horrors that could come about from not regularly reviewing estate planning documents and beneficiary designations.
“Perhaps you had your documents prepared when your kids were minors, and now they are married with children of their own,” Borg said. “Perhaps you named people to act in certain positions (i.e. executor, trustee) who are now deceased. If these items are not updated, it could mean that your plan will not be carried out as you had intended it to be.”
Borg Law Group provides legal services to individuals and businesses in the areas of real estate, corporate law, estate planning and probate. The firm’s founder, Brooke Borg, is admitted to the State Bar of Nevada and the State Bar of Michigan.
For more information regarding Borg Law Group, call 702-318-8808 or visit www.BorgLawGroup.com.