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How Do I Name Beneficiaries for My Retirement Accounts and Life Insurance Policies in Georgia?

Posted by Joel Beck | May 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

Have you considered what will happen to your family after you're gone? Life insurance policies and retirement accounts may offer them some peace of mind. If you don't name a beneficiary, though, the court might not distribute your money as you would've liked.

Are you wondering, “How do I name beneficiaries for my retirement accounts and life insurance policies in Georgia?” Our professionals can provide you with more information.

Types of Beneficiaries

There are two main types of beneficiaries: primary beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries. A primary beneficiary is the first person or persons in line for your assets after you die. If you're married, that's usually your husband or wife. Minor children and other dependents can also serve as your primary beneficiary. If your primary beneficiary dies before you do, the contingent beneficiary takes their place.

How to Name Your Beneficiaries

If you'd like an answer to the question, “How do I name beneficiaries for my retirement accounts and life insurance policies in Georgia?” Peach State Wills & Trusts is here to help.

You can name your beneficiaries through your life insurance or retirement account company. If someone else manages your financial accounts on your behalf, they may be able to handle beneficiary designation for you if they have the required legal authority.

When designating a beneficiary, give their full legal name. That way, your assets won't go to someone who shares a similar name, and, where possible, note their relationship to you, such as spouse, child, grandchild, cousin, friend, etc. 

Your financial services company may also ask for more information, such as:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Provide as much information as you're able. This helps prevent delays so your beneficiaries will have access to your assets as soon as possible.

Who Can You Choose as a Beneficiary?

You can pick anyone you like as a beneficiary, but think carefully before you make your choice. Picking the wrong individual can have unintended consequences down the road.

Kids are a popular choice for life insurance beneficiaries. But if you die before they turn 18, the court might appoint someone to manage their assets for them. If you didn't name a guardian, this person might not manage your money in the way you'd like. And, you might not want to have your child have a pile of money dumped on them once they turn 18, and therefore it may be wise to have those assets managed for the children and young adults through a testamentary trust (a trust in your Will) or through a revocable living trust you created during your lifetime.

It's also smart to appoint a backup beneficiary if the primary beneficiary dies before you. This commonly happens when one spouse dies before the other.

You can also leave assets to charities as well, if you are so inclined.  

Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts if You Need Help Naming a Beneficiary

Are you still wondering, “How do I name beneficiaries for my retirement accounts and life insurance policies in Georgia?” If so, we understand. Choosing a beneficiary for retirement plans and life insurance is a complicated process, and you want to be sure that you're making the right decision, and that your actions coordinate well with your overall estate plan.

Peach State Wills & Trusts has years of experience helping our clients with estate planning needs from the simple to the complex. Call us at (678) 344-5342 to learn more about how we can be of help to you and your family.

If you have any questions about estate planning in Georgia, you can download our free guide here, no strings attached.

About the Author

Joel Beck

Joel Beck founded The Beck Law Firm, LLC in 2007. His firm focused on business law and estate planning needs of clients, two areas that he was drawn to based upon personal and business experiences in his life, including a ten-year career at NASD (now known as FINRA).


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At Peach State Wills and Trusts, a division of The Beck Law Firm, LLC, we're committed to answering your questions about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, uncontested probate, and business planning issues in Georgia.

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