It’s easy to change your beneficiaries. As you think about your choices, here are some basic facts to be aware of, says Tom Hussian, an advanced markets consultant for Thrivent.
What is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is “one who benefits,” according to the dictionary. In financial terms, your beneficiaries are the people or organizations that benefit when you leave money or other assets to them, such as a payout from your life insurance. Thrivent's bylaws, in Section 5, detail who can be
If I have a will, do I still need to have up-to-date beneficiaries?
The short answer is: Yes. “There are certain types of accounts—like IRAs or
Are all beneficiaries treated the same way?
No, they are not. “Primary” beneficiaries are first in line. But if a primary beneficiary has died or declines the money, it will pass to a “contingent” beneficiary, if you’ve named one. For example, if “my primary beneficiary is my son, a contingent beneficiary might be another individual or a charity,” Hussian says. In that case, he adds, it’s important to let his son know that he’ll have the option of turning down the money that’s been left to him—which his son might want to do for tax or other reasons—and to tell his son who the money will pass to next.
What should I think about when choosing beneficiaries?
Many things will factor in, but under the SECURE Act, a law that took effect at the beginning of 2020, you should think in a new way about tax impacts for your beneficiaries. Generally, the SECURE Act requires them to empty any retirement accounts that you’ve left to most
Ready to make a beneficiary change?
Thrivent’s beneficiary designation forms are available to download at