Whenever you open a financial account, you’re almost always asked to name a beneficiary. Simply stated, a beneficiary of the account is someone who is entitled to the benefits of the account, typically, on the death of the account holder. If you’ve purchased life insurance, for example, you name a beneficiary, who receives the benefits of the policy when you pass.
Most consumers are familiar with the beneficiary designation form they complete when opening an IRA or 401(k). The form designates who receives the asset, if the account owner dies. However, these forms can create confusion, unintended bequests and family turmoil, if not adequately monitored.
One of the biggest threats to your financial security isn’t the markets, interest rates or even your job security. It is a lack of preparation, particularly for unexpected events, that usually leaves investors reeling when markets swoon. If you haven’t protected yourself from the potential downsides in life, after all, then it’s difficult to maneuver when the unforeseen strikes.