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June 2014 Archives

Estate planning: Update beneficiaries for retirement accounts

As you sit down to create your estate plan, you are probably thinking about who can best use the assets you have. While you are doing this, you also have to think about who will put your retirement accounts to good use after you are gone. A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court might change how you decide who will inherit your individual retirement accounts when you pass on.

Estate planning is more than a will and can be complex

There are many aspects to creating an estate plan that many people are familiar with; however, some people create a will and leave the estate planning at that. It is important for everyone in Michigan to know that there is a lot more to making an estate plan than simply writing down who gets what.

Estate administration hinges on beneficiary designations

When it comes to estate planning, all you really need is a will, right? Not so fast. According to estate administration experts, many assets are not covered by your Michigan will. Those assets include individual retirement accounts, 401(k), pensions, life insurance and other holdings with beneficiary designations. In fact, beneficiary lists can actually override any provisions you include in your will, so it is critical that you update these designations after any major life events.

Endowment given to Michigan university honors park ranger

While most people think of family members as the beneficiaries of an estate, there are some instances in which other people or entities might be part of an estate plan. Some people choose to leave money for a favorite charity, while others choose to leave assets to a house of worship. In some cases, people might choose to leave behind a gift to an institute of learning in their estate planning documents. One example of how including charitable donations in an estate plan is the Joseph and Bonnie Halvorsen Memorial Endowment.

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