Broker Check

Beneficiary Update

September 06, 2022

Do you have a named beneficiary or Transfer on Death designation for all of your assets?


We routinely find during our discovery working with new clients, many have unnamed beneficiaries or old beneficiaries on their assets.


Why are beneficiaries or Transfer on Death designations important?


Simply stated, it helps avoid probate and of course, it helps you be in control to whom your assets will transfer after your death.


It is good practice to review your beneficiary designations on all your qualified accounts (401ks, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 403b and TSP). These accounts cannot be opened without a beneficiary designation, but make sure it is up to date with your wishes. This is especially true if you have been divorced or separated, or even remarried.


You can put a Transfer on Death (TOD) on all your non-qualified accounts, such as CDs, brokerage, checking, savings and money market accounts. This means that after you pass, those assets will automatically transfer to the designated recipient you listed without having to go through probate.


An extra bonus in VA is that you can place a TOD designation on your home. This requires a lawyer to place the TOD on the deed and record it at the courthouse. This can usually be done for a nominal fee of $100 or less.


Finally, you can also put all your assets (except qualified accounts) into a trust to bypass probate. The trust then lists to whom and how the assets will be transferred.


If you have any questions about beneficiaries and TOD designation, please contact our office so that we may help you make sure all your assets have the correct beneficiary designations and are transferred to the people you want.



Stephen Moss is a Registered Representative offering Securities through UNITED PLANNERS FINANCIAL SERVICES, Member FINRA/SIPC.  Advisory Services are offered through Pegasus Financial Group.  Pegasus Financial Group and United Planners are not affiliated.

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