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Posts Tagged ‘Beneficiary designations’

Think your estate planning is done once you’ve gone to the trouble of making a will? Think again. All your hard work can be undone with a stroke of a pen when you open a bank, brokerage or retirement account.

What is the quickest way to un-do an otherwise carefully planned estate? Open a bank account, brokerage or retirement account. Why? Because the beneficiary designations on these accounts override your will. Yes, it’s true – the beneficiary designation is the estate planning trump card. And many an estate plan has come undone because of carelessly named beneficiaries. The Wall Street Journal last week issued a warning in an article entitled Beware the Beneficiary Form. “People don’t realize the importance of this,” says Martin Shenkman, an estate planning lawyer in Paramus, NJ. A carelessly named beneficiary on a financial account can…

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“For whatever reason, Trowbridge never deleted the ex-wife as the named beneficiary in the IRA account. Given all the known facts and circumstances, this seems to be a classic oversight.”

 Proper planning can set your estate, your assets, and your family in line for a smooth transition but improper or incomplete planning can bring untold hardship, especially if the matter ends up in court. Courtesy of Bill Singer’s blog through Forbes, here’s another sad story to add to the file of otherwise avoidable legal woes. The entire story and Singer’s commentary are worth reading, but in essence it is the story of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) Arbitration 10-02435 (May 9, 2011), or the shortsightedness of one Newman Trowbridge, Jr, Esq.. Mr. Trowbridge opened an IRA in 1994 and named…

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