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A will does not control all assets

Having a will or trust document in Ohio is a basic start to preparing for one’s estate future. What kind of assets a person owns may affect whether a will can do the intended job, that of leaving certain assets to certain people in one’s life.

However, a person’s needs or wants for those in his or her life may change over time. Thus, reviewing one’s financial assets is important over the years.

Life insurance policy proceeds do not pass under the will

A notable example is a life insurance policy. Often a person purchases a life insurance policy decades before he or she dies. There are even term insurance policies, such as a 20 or 30-year term insurance policies. These policies may stay with their buyers through many stages of life.

As Forbes.com reports, a will does not affect a life insurance policy with a noted beneficiary. If so, when a person buys a life insurance policy leaving his or her significant other as beneficiary, and 20 years later marries another, if he were to pass away a few years after that without having changed his beneficiary on his insurance policy, his or her spouse will receive no life insurance regardless of the will.

IRA assets pass by designated beneficiary, not the will

A similar problem can occur with a tax deferred retirement account. A popular type of this account is an individual retirement account. With an IRA, the asset typically passes by beneficiary designation connected to the IRA, upon death of the owner of the IRA. It never goes into the estate and therefore does not pass through a will.

There are many life events that can change people’s decisions as to whom to leave their assets to, on a dime. It is very important that a person review all of his assets periodically to make sure designated beneficiaries on assets that do not pass by will are as the person wishes.

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