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Everything you Need to Know About Beneficiaries: How Necessary are They?

Planning for the betterment of your family is essential. While taking the necessary steps towards increasing earning and savings is critical, it’s vital to know what would happen to your hard-earned money after you. To ensure that your family rightfully gets the funds you have earned and saved over the years, you must make arrangements while setting up financial relationships with commercial institutions. Such arrangements usually involve designating your family members as beneficiaries for your deposits and savings accounts.

But what are beneficiaries, and how critical are they concerning financial planning? Let’s find out.

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Pixabay | It’s vital to know what would happen to your hard-earned money after you are gone

Understanding Financial Beneficiaries

One of the columns in the application form of any financial asset like life insurance, retirement account, a bank account, or brokerage account is ‘beneficiary.’ Over the last few decades, the term has become one that most people recognize, thanks to the simplification of online banking and funds transfers.

Making someone a beneficiary in your account involves nominating them to receive that particular account’s benefits after your death. Even while creating a will or legal contracts (like trust-related documents), you need to specify someone’s name in order to benefit in your place, but usually, such agreements can have some conditions attached to them.

A beneficiary can be a person, your estate, a trustee, or a charity, of your trust. In most cases, people add the spouse’s name to the beneficiary column; however, you may change it anytime. You may even opt for minor beneficiaries; however, they can’t hold property, so there is a provision to set up a guardian that holds assets in custody for the minor until they come of age.

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Pixabay | Designating family members as beneficiaries entitles them to receive your account’s benefits after your death

Read – Good to know information when a minor is a beneficiary

Government or non-government institutions have their specific rules for naming someone as a beneficiary. But in any case, you need to provide details like addresses, social security numbers, or any other identification proofs of the persons you’re naming as beneficiaries.

Types of beneficiaries

There are mainly two types of recipients:

Primary beneficiary

This kind of beneficiary is the first to benefit from your accounts and assets. More than one primary beneficiary can be allocated.

Contingent beneficiary

If the primary beneficiary is unable to collect the benefits of your financial assets, only then can a contingent beneficiary come into the picture. But this type of recipient is not allowed by all financial accounts.

Why should you choose a beneficiary?

People tend to ignore the thought of their mortality and avoid making beneficiary elections. However, today’s time is uncertain, and in such a case, the court may direct your hard-earned assets to wherever it finds suitable once you pass away. Hence, it is essential to decide the giveaways proactively and in your presence.

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Pixabay | It is essential to decide the giveaways of your inheritance in your presence

Read – Who inherits an estate if no beneficiary designated?

To conclude

Your financial assets’ inheritance to the person you think deserves them the most, is ultimately your decision. It takes a few minutes to provide their details and paperwork at the initial stage but solves a big issue for your beneficiary later.

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