What You Need to Know About Beneficiary Designations

Including How to Update Them

Anytime you start a new job, you fill out the necessary paperwork for your retirement account and life insurance policy. This includes listing the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, of each. But, you may not have a full understanding of what that means. Learn more about this important choice.

Q. What is a beneficiary designation?
A. Beneficiaries are the people and/or organization(s) that you designate to receive an asset (such as a retirement plan or life insurance policy) following your passing.

Q. Won’t my will take care of distributing my retirement plan assets and life insurance?
A. No. These assets pass outside of your will. To make sure they go to the right people and places, be sure to let your beneficiaries know that you’ve named them.

Q. Can I change my beneficiaries?
A. Yes. You can update your beneficiaries at any time. Simply request a change-of-beneficiary form from your plan administrator (or download a copy from their website).

Q. How often should I review my beneficiaries?
A. You should review your beneficiaries regularly. However, life events such as marriage, the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one should trigger an additional review.

Take the Next Step

If you’ve decided to support NSDAR by naming us as a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets or life insurance, please let us know by contacting the Office of Development at giftplanning@dar.org or (800) 449-1776. It would be our honor to thank you and ensure your gift is used as you intend.

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