Take some time to update your beneficiaries

Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 6:01 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When you die where does your money go? It’s an uncomfortable thought for most of us, but beneficiary designations are so important to not only make but to update!

You should do this once a year. December is a good month, just before the new year.

Beneficiary designations are when a spouse, child or even a charity receive your assets when you pass away.

You often have to name them for investment accounts like IRA’s, qualified plans through your work, or life insurance policies.

The designation allows you to avoid probate and send the asset directly to the individual.

It’s easy to overlook this-- it even happened to Michael Joyce with the Richmond Financial firm Agili. “A couple of years ago, when my youngest son was about 12 or 13 and I was reviewing the beneficiary designations on one of my Roth IRA’s, I realized that he was not listed as a contingent beneficiary,” said Joyce.

Joyce says you can name a percentage of your assets for multiple people as long as it adds up to 100 percent. To name a person you need their full name and date of birth. Some places require a social security number.

Other events that should trigger a look at your beneficiaries-- marriage, divorce, having a child or the death of a loved one.

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