MONEY MONDAY: Making things easier for loved ones when you die

Money Monday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s Money Monday at 6 News and this week the focus is on important paperwork that will make things easier for our loved-ones when we pass away.

Local financial expert Steven Schiestel has more on what’s called a beneficiary designation form and when it should be updated.

“The beneficiary designation form is applicable for certain types of accounts or retirement accounts or IRAs or 401ks, our life insurance policies in our annuities. Who we list on the beneficiary designation form is going to be the person or persons who will receive the proceeds or the distributions from those accounts where they pass away,” Schiestel said.

Schiestel said there are a couple of different types of beneficiaries that we need to be aware of.

“The first would be the primary beneficiary or beneficiaries. So it can be one person, or it can be multiple people. The contingent beneficiaries, as the name suggests are going to be those that would receive the funds,” Schiestel said.

Schiestel said you should be regularly monitoring your beneficiary designation forms.

“I would say that at a minimum, we should be reviewing each of the beneficiary designation forms for all the different types of accounts that we have at a minimum once a year,” Schiestel said.

You should also review the forms after any major life changes.

“A death, a divorce or any change in our family dynamics comes along is an important time for us to make sure that those listed are the ones that we, um, wish and hope will receive the money upon our passing,” Schiestel said.

And lastly, Schiestel said always keep copies of your documents.

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