The Importance of Accurate Estate Planning
“’Per stirpes’ vs. ‘per capita.’ Making the wrong choice could cause an estate planning disaster.”
No one relishes the idea of planning for their own death, but the alternative of not planning and leaving your family members to sort out an expensive mess is a poor way to be remembered. According to a recent article from Kiplinger, titled “These 2 Words Could Send Your Retirement Money to the Wrong Beneficiary,” this information could save you from accidentally cutting someone out of your will.
Ensuring Beneficiary Designations Align with Your Wishes
Avoiding Probate with Proper Planning
Choosing the Right Beneficiaries
Primary and Contingent Beneficiaries
Using Retirement Funds for Charitable Giving
Per Stirpes vs. Per Capita: The Crucial Decision
Understanding the Implications of Per Stirpes
The Effects of Choosing Per Capita
The alternative is per capita. By choosing per capita, your money only goes to your primary beneficiaries.
Here’s an example of how per capita might work.
Imagine a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. The daughter is the primary beneficiary on the grandmother’s retirement account, but the grandmother forgets to name a contingent beneficiary.
If the daughter dies before the grandmother and the daughter is still listed as the primary beneficiary when the grandmother dies, the money won’t go the granddaughter. The money will go through probate and the court would decide who receives the money. Had the grandmother selected per stirpes, the money would have gone straight to the granddaughter, even if she were not listed as a contingent beneficiary. When you choose per stirpes, the next of kin to your primary beneficiary (or your heir’s heirs) receive their share of your property.
This is how per capita works. Per capita ensures that your money goes to your primary beneficiaries only. Per capita is also typically the default option most retirement savers have in place right now.
Avoiding Costly Estate Planning Mistakes
Recognizing the Default Option and Making Informed Choices
Secure Your Legacy with Expert Estate Planning Assistance
In conclusion, carefully considering your estate planning options, including beneficiary designations and the choice between per stirpes and per capita, is essential to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Don't let your hard-earned retirement funds end up in the wrong hands or tangled in a costly probate process.
As a knowledgeable and experienced Kansas Estate Planning Attorney, I, Benjamin Long, am here to help you navigate these complex decisions.
Contact Schlagel Long today for a free consultation, and let's work together to create an estate plan that truly honors your legacy. Call us at (913) 359-8996, and let's secure your family's future together.