BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- Question: I am recently divorced and have updated my wills, but have not updated the beneficiaries on my retirement accounts. If something were to happen to me, will the beneficiaries be the same as my will?
Answer (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management): "Well Rob, unfortunately they are not going to be the same. What you’re talking about is a huge mistake that I see commonly made with people because they think that your will is going to supersede the beneficiaries on your accounts, and that is absolutely wrong. These two items are totally different situations."
Question: What can he do to fix this?
Answer (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management): "There’s actually an easy fix. What I always tell people is if you have accounts that have beneficiaries, you have to make sure that those beneficiaries are up-to-date because if you pass away they are going to go directly to the beneficiaries on those accounts and not necessarily what your will says.
Your will is designed for everything that does not have a beneficiary and it is designed for things that are proratable. Things that have direct beneficiaries are non-proratable so they are going to get first precedence where the money goes. But the key is you have to update those beneficiary designations."