Many people incorrectly assume that because they have updated their Will, their final wishes are in place. As a general exception to this belief, beneficiaries designated on financial accounts override the Will.
Best Practice: periodically review beneficiary listings on your financial accounts to ensure they are in accordance with wishes and those expressed in your Will.
Typical financial accounts that have beneficiary designations include:
- Life Insurance Policies
- Bank Accounts (these can be co-owned, Payable on Death (POD), Transfer on Death (TOD)).
- Retirement accounts, such as 401ks, IRAs.
- Pension plans
- Stocks, Bonds (including Savings Bonds), Money Market Certificates
- Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
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