Margaret stormed into her husband's insurance office with righteousness indignation. She berated the agent because the life insurance benefit of her recently deceased husband had been awarded to his ex wife, even though he had been divorced for more than a decade. Unfortunately this is not an isolated instance and not one that can be reconciled post mortem.
It is the responsibility of the policy and account holder/owner to keep their beneficiary information updated. When was the last time you reviewed your documents and updated your beneficiaries? The designation allows your assets to transfer to your survivors without the time and expense of probate. If the beneficiaries are deceased themselves, the assets will need to be probated.
In today's world, we have evolved from living in multi generational homes to residing in different states. The minutiae of our daily lives is isolated from our family members and when we pass or become incapacitated, updating beneficiaries is only one facet that complicates life for our loved ones. Your will is not enough.
Have you compiled your Advanced Directives? In other words, do you have a designated Healthcare Power of Attorney? A durable Power of Attorney? A Living Will? These documents are necessary for all persons over the age of eighteen, not just those entering the twilight of their lives.
Whether living alone, with spouse, family or caring for aging parents, take the time to compile your affairs and communicate to your loved ones your wishes for care through illness and beyond. For resources, you can reach out to me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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