The Importance of Naming Beneficiaries

The importance of naming beneficiaries

Jamieson Mackay, The Importance of Naming Beneficiaries

My father-in-law passed away recently and my wife, as executor, was so grateful that he’d left clear instructions including a will, a list of accounts (with named beneficiaries), and plenty of documentation.  We most likely could have avoided the probate process (which costs around $2,500), except for two things: Selling the house and no named beneficiaries on a few accounts and investments. If we had sold the house when he moved into a nursing home and he had named beneficiaries on all of his accounts and investments, we might have been able to prevent going through probate to obtain the letter of testamentary needed to complete those tasks.

We learned that on a few of his accounts, including a couple of IRAs and bank accounts, that he’d named his daughters as beneficiaries. Since the daughters were equal beneficiaries on the IRAs, they simply must produce the death certificate to initiate the process transferring those funds to a newly created Inherited IRA (we’ll get into that in more detail in a separate post).

Can you guess what all of us have been doing since we learned this lesson? You guessed it, we’re updating our beneficiaries on all our accounts and investments to make life a little easier for our children and give them faster access to funds in case they are needed. We’ve already updated a few accounts, so it has been a worthwhile exercise. I would encourage you to do the same and update your beneficiaries, especially if you have had a change in your life like a new child, marriage, or any other life event that would change who you want to inherit your money.

We’ve made it easy to add beneficiaries to your membership at the credit union and it can be done all online. You can use the form below to add or remove beneficiaries.


Add or Remove Beneficiaries

Complete the following form to update your beneficiaries for your membership. Once your form has been submitted for review, we will send you forms to sign electronically through the email address provided. If you are adding multiple beneficiaries, please complete one form for each beneficiary.


The opinions expressed on this page are those of the credit union’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors, staff members and other authors and may not reflect the views of the credit union. Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of each article.