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Mistakes to Avoid- Not Naming a Contingent Beneficiary

Beneficiary designations, account titling (ownership arrangements), and traditional estate planning tools (trusts and last wills) work together to create a fully functioning estate plan. Another common mistake made with beneficiary designations and ownership arrangements includes not naming a contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Upon obtaining life insurance or establishing a retirement account, often, an account holder will designate a primary beneficiary and neglect to designate any contingent beneficiaries. If your primary beneficiary (your spouse, most often) predeceases you, or if you die together then, again, it is as if you had not named a beneficiary at all.

Over the next several posts we will explore these common mistakes in more detail.

To be continued….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.

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