Beneficiaries vs the Will

For the last 15 years, I’ve known that we should put together a will…but still I put it off until this year. Why did I put it off? Partially because I was afraid of the cost. Well, it turns out you can get a will for free. Mostly it was because I felt intimidated. What if I messed it up?

Meanwhile, each year I would get reminded to review and update my beneficiaries for my retirement and life insurance. I did this without even thinking. What I learned just recently…the beneficiaries are more important than the will! When you setup your beneficiaries, those assets don’t even go to your estate. They bypass your will.

As I was struggling with my will, do you know how good it felt to actually get something done on my estate planning by just paying attention to my beneficiaries?

Here’s what I did:

  1. Went Online: I double checked the beneficiaries for both my retirement accounts and life insurance online.
  2. Primary Beneficiary: This was already set as my spouse so no change.
  3. Secondary Beneficiary: If Betty and I both die, I had my kids listed. I have a $1 million policy. I figured that each kid would be just as well off with $300k as they would be with $333k so I decided to include my church as a tithe (10%).
  4. Tertiary Beneficiaries: I didn’t use this, but, if I hadn’t included the church in with the secondary, I would have included it here.

Besides life insurance, we have a lot of different kinds of assets. Some it is best to run through your Will. Some it is best to add as beneficiaries or maybe co-owners. That’s what I look into in this video.


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