As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the questions on this Beneficiary Checklist:

Beneficiary Forms

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-Who has a copy of your most recently signed beneficiary forms? Your financial advisor? Your insurance agent? Your retirement account administrator? 

--When was the last time you asked your plan provider and/or advisor to locate and produce the most recently signed beneficiary form?

-Is your primary beneficiary correctly named on each beneficiary form, with a current address and phone number?

-Have you named a contingent beneficiary on each form? Have you included current addresses and phone numbers?

-If there are multiple beneficiaries, have you made sure each beneficiary’s share is clearly stated? Is there a need to create separate accounts for each one of them now?

-Have you verified the correctness of beneficiary forms for EACH and EVERY account in your name? 

-Have you made sure your financial advisor has copies of all signed beneficiary forms for all of your accounts?

Inheritances and Assets

-Does the beneficiary form allow the beneficiaries to stretch payouts?

-The beneficiary form should name a person, not an entity, as beneficiary -- unless the retirement assets are being left in whole or in part to a charity or trust.

-If applicable: When the estate plan was drafted, did it take into account your retirement assets?

If this Checklist raises questions you can’t answer, let us review it with you. Call  (877) 714-2362 to make an appointment.

Walter Pardo is the CEO of Wealth Financial Partners WFP Tax Partners, located in the historic Liberty Corner section of Basking Ridge, NJ. He is a Certified Wealth Strategist and Professional Plan Consultant with Series 7, 66 and 63 licenses. Walter is licensed in the states of AZ, CA, CT, FL, KS, OH, NY, NJ, IL, PA, SC, and TX, and VA.

Walter is a Master Elite member of the Ed Slott Elite IRA Advisor Group℠. He is active in his community in central New Jersey, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Loyola Jesuit Center in Morristown. When not working with clients or volunteering in his community, Walter may be found trying to reduce his handicap at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, NJ, or playing the piano at home for his wife, Suzanne, and two daughters, Isabel and Natalie.

Registered Representative offering securities and advisory services through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wealth Financial Partners, LLC and IFG are unaffiliated entities. OSJ: 12671 High Bluff Dr. Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92130.