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  • Amy Privette

Service Highlight: Beneficiary Alignment

At Privette Legacy Planning, we offer a suite of services to help you stay connected and engaged with us, even after your plan is done. Taking advantage of these services is the best way to protect your family from the curveballs of life and to make sure you have the right people in place when or if tragedy strikes. This post is all about the Beneficiary Alignment.

Just like the wheels on your car need to be aligned as part of routine maintenance so, too, do your beneficiary designations.

The number one threat to your estate plan is an improper beneficiary designation form. That’s why we offer our Beneficiary Alignment service. The purpose of the Beneficiary Alignment is to make sure your beneficiary designation forms complement your estate plan, not contradict it. Beneficiary designation forms allow you to establish who will receive a particular asset (e.g., life insurance proceeds, remaining funds in retirement accounts, etc.) upon your death. The form is a contract between you and the provider. As such, assets are allowed to pass directly to the named beneficiary without requiring a Will or Trust, which is great unless:

your named beneficiary is deceased,

your named beneficiary is a minor,

your named beneficiary is your ex,

your named beneficiary is an estranged family member,

your named beneficiary is getting divorced,

your named beneficiary has filed for bankruptcy,

your named beneficiary is disabled and receiving government benefits,

your named beneficiary has alcohol or drug dependency issues,

your named beneficiary has money-management issues, or

your named beneficiary is your estate.

The above list doesn’t even consider the problems that arise when a beneficiary designation form is filled out incorrectly (e.g., percentages assigned to people do not add up to 100%) or is outdated (e.g., leaves out a child born after the form was initially completed). In short, there are countless ways an improper beneficiary designation form can wreck your carefully crafted estate plan.

Enter the Beneficiary Alignment. Rest easy knowing your attorney has thoroughly vetted your beneficiary forms to make sure your designations match the distribution scheme of your estate plan!

Imagine having a state-of-the-art alarm system installed in your home for your family’s protection and then never turning it on. How terrible would it be to discover that your home had been broken into and your valuables stolen? Your estate plan is the state-of-the-art alarm system. But if your beneficiary designation forms do not align with your estate plan, then the beneficiary designation is the thief that can rob your family of the inheritance you planned for them.

Note: the purpose of the Beneficiary Alignment is not for the attorney to advise on the appropriateness of your estate plan or to discuss any recommended changes to the design of your trust or the structure of your Will. The Beneficiary Alignment assumes your existing estate plan accurately reflects your intent and your goals for your family. If you would like a comprehensive audit review of your estate plan, however, we are pleased to offer that as a separate service.

Don’t assume everything is as it should be! The risk to your family is too great to leave it to chance. Do not let all of your hard work in putting a plan in place go to waste. Call or email us today to schedule your Beneficiary Alignment!

Phone: (919) 678-5761

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