Take some time this week and make a list of your investment, banking, retirement, and life insurance accounts.  Then, reach out to each institution to update your beneficiary designations, naming who you want to receive the account funds on your death.

Having updated beneficiary designations avoids probate and makes funds easily accessible to your loved ones to pay for things like household expenses and funeral costs upon your death.  Accounts without listed beneficiaries often need to be probated, which can take over a year and cost thousands of dollars in attorneys fees, while an updated beneficiary designation can lead to the account being transferred to a beneficiary within weeks for free.

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