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Legacy Planning Partners

Keeping it in the Family

     We all want to keep whatever money we have in the family.  When we get the chance to add a beneficiary to an account we usually pick our kids.  We love them so we want to treat them equally.  If we have four kids we might list them each at 25%.  Then we may say, "per stirpes".  We want to include our grandchildren, our bloodline, but not that person your son or daughter married.  So, what happens if your child dies before you?  Not a big deal so long as you are alive but at your death we are looking to prove your grandchildren are really your beneficiaries.  You might think a birth cetificate would work, wrong! 

   In a recent case a mother died leaving her assets to her four children, two of which died before her.  To further complicate things, in one of the instances, that child's spouse also died before the mother.  In both cases the estates of the two deceased children never went through probate, each for different reasons. In order to get the money to the kids we are some looking for proof from a court.  Since neither of the deceased childen's estate went through probate, there is nothing.  Needless to say, this is a mess, one that was unnessesary. 

      The lesson learned?   Update your beneficairies regularly.  While you are alive doing so is easy, after your death, not so much!

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This is an example and is not representative of any situation. Your results may vary.