Avoid Common Beneficiary Designation Mistakes

May 21, 2021 |Guy Burgo

Back to All Articles
Share this Article

In a recent blog post, our president, Larry McCooey, reminded us of the importance of checking the beneficiary information on our retirement accounts. When you review those designations, you can also help your family avoid problems in the future by preventing or correcting other common beneficiary mistakes.


For instance, did you know your beneficiary designations will take precedence over your will or living trust? That is why it is so important that your beneficiary designations, will, living trust, and titles or ownership are all aligned. If your estate plan documents and beneficiary designations are not in agreement, your wishes may not get carried out as you intended after you pass away. The consequences for your family could be disastrous.

I recently reviewed the estate plan of a wonderful Christian couple with a disabled adult child. Together, we discovered that their beneficiary designations were not properly coordinated with the trust designed for their child. As a result, the trust would not have been funded with as much money for his care as they expected. Thankfully, we identified the problem and are now working together to correct it and ensure their son will be properly cared for when they are gone.

It’s easy to forget how you filled out your beneficiary designations when you signed up for a life insurance policy or financial account. This is also true for “payable on death” (POD) or “transfer on death” (TOD) accounts such as checking, savings, and certificates. So, if you don’t remember who you named as beneficiary of all your accounts, I encourage you to take the time to review these documents to be sure they properly coordinate with your will or living trust.

If you’d like assistance updating or designing your will or trust from a biblical perspective, call us at 833.672.4255 to schedule a free, no obligation, phone consultation with one of our gift and estate design consultants. We’d be honored to serve you and your family.

Related Articles