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COVID-19 NOTICE:

After careful review of the COVID-19 environment, the law firm of Chayet & Danzo, LLC, will be conducting in-person appointments in our offices on a limited basis and with strict social distancing protocols.

During this time, our team will continue to diligently work remotely on all client matters and will maintain communication through email, telephone, and video conferencing. Our main office number, (303) 355-8500 will continue to be answered during our normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.

This decision to have limited appointments in-office while following strict social distancing protocols is in the best interest and health of our team, clients and community.

We will continue accepting new clients during this period as well as fully servicing our existing clients.

We wish you and your family continued health during these unique and challenging times.

Compassion, talent and dedication:
guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

The importance of correct beneficiary designations

| Dec 6, 2017 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Retirement accounts, life insurance and annuities are probably not controlled by provisions in your will. Why is this? These types of accounts and any other designated “payable on death” or “transfer on death” automatically pass to a named beneficiary outside of probate.

You may change beneficiaries at any time. When it is time to change a will, it is a good idea to look at beneficiary designations as well. If you fail to make updates after a significant life change, it can easily result in unintended consequences.

Over the years

Consider when you start a new job, maybe you list a parent as a beneficiary for the employer-provided 401(k) or pension. This might be early in your career and it makes sense at the time. As the years pass, you may start a family and have children. Your parent might no longer be the best choice for beneficiary.

Funds in these accounts go straight to the named beneficiary when you pass away, rather than going through probate, which makes a mistake harder to dispute. If something were to happen, money might transfer to an elderly parent in a care facility rather than a spouse. And even worse outcomes have occurred (ex-spouse inheriting a pension or siblings inheriting rather than step children) and been upheld in court.

Double checking beneficiaries

After having a child, divorce, remarriage, death in the family or every five years as a general rule of thumb, it is good to take an inventory of your accounts with beneficiary designations. Then make a call to customer service or log into online portals to review the listed beneficiary.

On any account where the listed beneficiary is out of date, ask questions to find out how to make a change. A company might need a social security number and often a change request must be in writing. 

Do not make an easy mistake by having your money go to someone who you listed 10 or 20 years ago.

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