Dedham Estate Planning Attorney
We Can Ensure That Your Loved Ones Are Cared For From Handling the Complex Probate Process to Practice Estate Planning Since 1987

Change of Beneficiary

Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan

As we write estate plans, it is important to understand that life changes and estate planning documents should be reviewed annually so everything remains up-to-date, especially in regards to beneficiaries.

At the Law Office of Frederick N. Pellegrini, our Dedham estate planning attorneys stress the importance of keeping all of your beneficiaries current, mainly because a large percentage of our clients' wealth is controlled through their beneficiary designations.

In practice since 1987, we have a wealth of experience updating clients' estate plans, and we can ensure that your estate planning documents accurately reflect your wishes. This way, your loved ones won't have any hidden, unwanted surprises when your estate is ultimately distributed.

What distinguishes us from the rest?

  • Over 25 years' experience serving Norfolk County
  • We offer FREE case evaluations
  • WealthCounsel® members
  • National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
  • Strathmore's Who's Who Registry of Business Leaders
  • Featured on the AARP Attorney Referral List for several years

In addition to the above, we are proud members of the Massachusetts Bar, the Norfolk and Plymouth Estate Planning Council, and the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys.

When to Update Your Estate Planning Documents

Since a large portion of your wealth is likely controlled by beneficiary designations, it is extremely important to ensure that your estate planning documents are aligned with your wishes. As you experience life changes, your beneficiaries may change as well.

If something should happen to you, and your beneficiaries have not been updated, your assets will likely wind up in the wrong hands. Whether such person is an ex-husband or wife, or a friend that you no longer associate with, or a stepchild that you have lost touch with, you don't want your loved ones to endure a legal battle they might not win.

When to review/update your beneficiary designations:

  • You get married
  • You file for divorce
  • You gain stepchildren
  • There is a death in the family
  • You meet a new life partner
  • You move to another state
  • New or disposed assets
  • You have a falling out with an heir

Changing Your Estate Planning Documents

In regards to your will, you can either make a new will that revokes any previous wills, or you can change your will be adding a codicil, which serves as an amendment to your existing will. Most of the time, it is better to write a new will, as codicils can cause confusion, they can be lost, or they can give rise to a will contest.

For most people, a large portion of their estate is controlled by beneficiary designations. This means that much of your property will pass to your beneficiaries despite what your will says. For instance, retirement proceeds, life insurance proceeds, joint and payable-on-death bank accounts, and stocks with transfer-on-death designations all pass directly to beneficiaries, and outside of a will.

We recommend reviewing all of your estate planning documents once a year, and make changes as you see fit.

Contact a Dedham Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Are your beneficiary designations up-to-date? Contact the Law Office of Frederick N. Pellegrini to schedule your free case evaluation. We would be glad to answer any questions you might have and explain what steps you can take to fully maximize the advantages of your estate plan.