Recently, a story published in the Nevada Appeal offered advice and tips for people who may be involved in estate planning as it pertains to IRA's, as well as highlighted some current probate litigation issues. Some of the most beneficial directives highlighted facts that are normally brought to light during a probate case.
It is often considered wise to review your beneficiary information every few years to make sure it is up to date. In many cases, the beneficiary a person thinks they have listed on their documentation is, in fact, incorrect. Sometimes, it may be that your family has grown and you want to make sure those new members are also included. Or, on the flip side, maybe there have been some changes in marital status and that special someone that was once named as a beneficiary needs to be replaced.
If your beneficiary is a minor, it is also important to keep in mind that courts often require that a guardian be appointed. While a legal will is important for estate planning, it does not supersede the beneficiary designation(s) indicated on the form.
Other details in the piece outlined the effects distributions from an IRA may have an impact on the beneficiary's tax profile. For this reason, considering taxes prior to naming a beneficiary is usually a good idea.
For probate reasons, it's considered wise to be very precise when filling out paperwork. The listing of beneficiaries can be a bit intimidating; this is especially true for people who have a large number of people to keep in mind. Knowing which details to take under consideration for naming a beneficiary can help avoid some of the headache that often leads to probate litigation.
Given the often confusing details behind estate planning, assistance is often a good idea. Legal professionals who are experienced in estate planning and probate litigation may be able to offer guidance throughout the process. While considering the need for estate planning is often difficult, it's also one of the smartest decisions a Nevada resident can make prior to his or her death.
Source: The Nevada Appeal, " Creekbaum: Important to name IRA beneficiary," William Creekbaum, July 24, 2011