Most Californians who have life insurance or a retirement plan like a 401(k) or IRA will name their spouse as the primary beneficiary if they are married. Single folks who also live in California counties such as Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara or Ventura will name someone else who is deserving of the death benefit. But when a designated beneficiary dies before you do, most people do not remember to change the beneficiary to someone else who is still living. As a result, when you die after your beneficiary dies, who gets the money?
While my estate planning clients may put all of their other assets into the living trust I prepared for them to avoid probate upon their death, the 401(k), IRA or life insurance policy likely will have to be probated if the primary beneficiary dies before you.
If this or something similar has happened to you recently, let’s talk about what is involved with probate. Call me at (310) 559-5259 and let’s get those issues resolved.