(ARA) - The holiday season is in full swing, and amid the flurry of preparations, your will and legacy may be the last things on your mind.
However, when you're surrounded by loved ones this season, it may be the best time to evaluate the gifts you plan to leave them. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offers these tips to help get you started on a beneficiary review.
Your estate: for beneficiaries only
One of the most common mistakes people make is failing to update the beneficiary designations on financial contracts to coordinate with their will and other estate plan documents. Beneficiary designations supersede bequests made in a will. Your intentions for giving your estate may be at risk if your designations are not kept up to date.
Life insurance and financial services companies can distribute money only to the designated beneficiaries. Life events make it necessary to update your designations from time to time. If your beneficiary moves, you should update their address to ensure they'll be contacted should benefits need to be paid out. Also, if you become divorced or widowed, you should review your designation and possibly update it.
Wills are created to eliminate confusion for your loved ones in your absence. Some work now will be worth it when the time comes to enact your will.
Consult a financial professional
The laws related to inheriting assets are complex and can be confusing unless you have an experienced professional at your side. Financial professionals can help guide you through the process of updating your will. They can answer questions and provide insight on common solutions to will-related issues, and they can ensure that your wishes are granted with the way you set up your plans.
An ongoing process
Thrivent Financial recommends you review and update your beneficiary designations at least once a year or any time you have a life event. Regular reviews can prevent surprises down the road. They also provide an opportunity to discuss the future with loved ones: conversations that may otherwise be avoided. Leaving a legacy for the people and causes you care for most is a lasting, meaningful gift. To learn more, visit Thrivent.com.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its respective associates and employees cannot provide legal, accounting, or tax advice or services. Work with your Thrivent Financial representative, and as appropriate, your attorney and/or tax professional for additional information.