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Will execution in New York involves updating beneficiary names

An individual finally got the courage one day and took time to put a will together. The task may have seemed daunting, requiring the person to think about a topic that he or she really would have preferred to avoid: death. However, in the end, the person's beneficiaries will be in the best position to have access to his or her assets in the event of the person's death in New York. The problem, however, is that the beneficiaries' names have not been updated in years; this is perhaps the biggest mistake a person can make during the process will execution.

It is important to remember to update the names of beneficiaries for one's various assets. These may include college savings plans and bank accounts as well as retirement plans. Also included in this list of essential assets to update are life insurance policies and mutual funds.

Failing to update the beneficiaries' names regularly means that one's valuable assets may end up going to a former spouse or to another undesired person. When naming beneficiaries, it is wise to also list secondary beneficiaries. This is essential because if a primary beneficiary dies before the person who created the will dies and there is no secondary beneficiary listed, then the individual's assets will have to go through the time-consuming and costly process of probate.

Will execution permits a person to pass important assets and property to the right beneficiaries. However, even after a will has been created, the individual will benefit from constantly ensuring that all beneficiaries' names are updated; this can be done once a year. Through proper will execution, individuals can rest assured that all of their valuable items will end up in the proper hands upon their passing in New York.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Don't make the No. 1 estate-planning goof, Harper Willis, Jan. 23, 2014

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