If you're reading this article, it's a sure bet that you either have an estate plan or you're considering having one crafted for you. Designating your final wishes with a will and a trust is one of the easiest ways to take care of those important final details and provide solid instructions for your family in the event of your passing away. All of your assets within your estate can be funnelled down in the manner you specify to the specific people you love and want to provide for, even after you are gone.
But there are always "little details" that go beyond wills and trusts that need to be looked at and considered when having an attorney draw up your estate plan. One of the biggest of these is the beneficiary assignment for your life insurance policy.
This may seem like a little detail, but as they say, it's all in the details. If the beneficiaries you have named for your life insurance policy contradict what it written into your will and trust, the court may choose to treat the life insurance policy payout(s) as separate from your estate. How can this affect you negatively? Consider the following example:
Someone dies and, while their will names their current family to benefit from the assets of the estate, an existing life insurance policy names an ex-spouse and their children. In a very real case where this happened (Estate of Post), the new family fought with the old family over the assets in the estate. The court decided that the life insurance policy was not covered by the will (the proceeds are paid after the person dies and are not part of their assets.) and though the man who died did not want his ex-spouse or her children to receive any benefit after his death, they were paid out as beneficiaries designated by the life insurance policy.
A solid estate plan crafted by a legal professional like Attorney Zachary Rayo of Rayo Law Offices involves a comprehensive planning meeting where little details like life insurance policy beneficiaries and other commonly overlooked issues that can cause big problems down the line are discussed and preparations made to deal with them. Sure, we live in an age when, more and more, people are motivated to be their own legal counsel, but there are dangers lurking out there in the estate planning process that only an experienced estate planning attorney like Zachary Rayo can help you navigate around.
Ready to take action and get protected? Rayo Law Offices Can Help:
Call (925) 825-1955 or contact Rayo Law Offices online to set up an appointment for an initial “meet and greet” consultation.