Understanding the influence of designated beneficiaries

When people begin the process of creating an estate plan in Tennessee, one of the first things they do is make a list of all of the people they wish to be beneficiaries in their will. Often, the people who are chosen are important to them or have had considerable influence in their life. As such, they wish to make these people a part of their heritage and allot them some kind of gift after their death. 

When people arrive at the portion of estate planning where they need to identify and select beneficiaries, it may be their first inclination to name their children or other dependents. While this may be entirely appropriate and applicable in many instances, there are cases where choosing one's own children may not be the best decision. In these cases, it is imperative that folks spend considerable time comparing their options before making a selection. 

A lot of people tend to second guess their decision about who they have selected as their designated beneficiaries. While it may not be a bad idea to reevaluate every so often, people should trust their instincts and rely on their intuition when making a decision that will have profound impact on their future. People should also remember that over time, their life may change in ways that require them to modify their estate plan to conform to their new circumstances. In these cases, leaving an estate plan unchanged may create more of a problem following a person's death. 

If people are considering starting to plan their estate, they may wish to have the guidance of an attorney. Legal professionals provide invaluable advice in the creation, modification and implementation of estate plans that are customized to a person's individual needs and lifestyle.

Source: The National Law Review, "Designated Survivor: Beneficiary Designations Can Make - or Break - Your Estate Plan," Jul. 19, 2018

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