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Do you remember when you last checked your Designated Beneficiary forms for your various financial accounts or products?  As part of your estate planning plan, you should check on an annual basis the designated beneficiaries for each of your financial accounts or products that have diesignated beneficiaries.  You should get written confirmation as to who your designated beneficiaries are, directly from the appropriate financial companies.  Keep these written confirmations with your estate planning documents.

Retirement accounts (e.g., IRA, 401k), and insurance products (e.g., life insurance, annuities) often allow you to declare beneficiaries.  You probably last filled out the designated beneficiary form when you set up the acount.  Have there been changes to you life?  If you recently divorced, your former spouse may still be named.  Maybe the beneficiary you named has died or become incapacitated.  Maybe it is no longer appropriate for the named beneficiary to recieve the property.  

Because many banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms have merged, their records have become lost or missed managed.  Having a dated written confirmation of the designated beneficiaries from the financial institution will help in ensuring that the right people get your property in the event the financial institution loses your paperwork after a merger.  

Be safe.  Be prepared.  Check your designated beneficiary forms today.