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When a beneficiary is different from the terms of the will

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | estate administration & probate |

Many individuals name a beneficiary on their life insurance policies and retirement accounts at a different time than when they draw up their will. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for a named beneficiary to be different from the terms of the will. This is what occurs when this happens in Indiana and how to avoid it.

The beneficiary gets the assets

If an individual is a named beneficiary on a policy or an account, they will get the assets no matter what the will says. This can get rather tricky during estate administration and probate as an individual may expect to get certain assets because they’re named in the will. Unfortunately, overriding beneficiary designations is very difficult.

How to keep this from happening

It’s not uncommon for an individual to want to change who they leave their assets to. This is why it’s a good idea to review beneficiaries and estate plan documents on a regular basis. Many individuals choose to update their beneficiaries and will when they get married, have a child or get divorced, for example. It’s actually fairly easy to change a beneficiary in many instances. The account holder will just need to fill out a form from the company that provides the benefit.

If you haven’t reviewed your will and beneficiaries on your policies and accounts recently, now is a good time to do so. A lot of individuals do need to change their estate plan documents on occasion. An attorney may help you draw up a new will if you do need to make changes to your current one.