During annual review meetings, the Wiser team often looks at the beneficiaries assigned to your accounts. It is important to have contingent beneficiaries on your retirement accounts so you can properly allocate your assets in case of sudden death. Without proper planning, you will have to go through probate. Probate is when a judge will be in charge of your asset allocation. Make sure to have a plan in place and choose your beneficiaries early on so you can avoid this.

Casey explains that a contingent beneficiary could be your children, an organization you would like to support, or somebody you trust with your assets. He also explains that in this planning process you will often see the legal term, per stirpes. Per stirpes means the assets will follow the bloodline, and each child will receive an equal amount of your assets. If per stirpes is not an option on your form, you will have to log in online and add your beneficiary’s name, date of birth, and in some cases their social security number. Plan ahead, and always remember to look through your forms to make sure you have a primary beneficiary and a contingent beneficiary!

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Casey Smith
President, Wiser Wealth Management

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