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By Jason Carrozza

Hi Everyone,

Happy Wednesday!!! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and had a fabulous break.

This week we’re discussing beneficiary designations.

The simple rule of thumb is that beneficiary designations dictate all. For example, if you have a life insurance policy and you list your spouse as the primary beneficiary and a child as the contingent beneficiary, those are going to be the people who inherit that money if you die, regardless of what your will or trust dictate.

If a beneficiary designation is a single individual, that person can legally do whatever they want to with those funds. They are not required to share the asset with anybody else. Once it’s their property it’s theirs so you cannot expect that they will share it with any other relatives.

Another common issue occurs when minors are listed on beneficiary designation forms. Remember, minors cannot inherit money. In order to avoid court interference, you must list you family trust as the beneficiary as opposed to the minors outright.

As we’re ending the year, it’s important to check your beneficiary designations and ensure you have all of your assets pointed in the right direction. This is one of those necessary end-of-the year housekeeping tasks.

Please contact us today if you need guidance on designating proper beneficiaries, or if you need to create a trust to avoid unnecessary court interference.

Until next time,

About the Author
Jason M. Carrozza is a partner and founder of Family Legal Partners, P.C., previously owning Carrozza Law Office, P.C., which focused on estate planning, probate administration, and business formation. He was recognized as a Massachusetts Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers and Boston Magazine in 2014, 2015, and 2016, an honor given to no more than 5% of attorneys in the state. Graduating magna cum laude from New England Law and ranked 3rd in his class, Jason completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tampa. He gained experience in civil litigation, divorce, corporate, and insurance defense law firms before opening his practice in 2004. Jason is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Courts, is a trained family law mediator, and a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He has volunteered for pro bono panels with Senior Partners For Justice, South Middlesex Legal Services, and the New Center for Legal Advocacy. Dedicated to his community, he has served in various leadership roles including vice president of the Bellingham Business Association and Master of Excelsior Lodge of Massachusetts Freemasons. He teaches Estate Planning Basics at the Tri County Continuing Adult Education program and speaks at estate planning seminars throughout the year. An avid baseball fan and history enthusiast, Jason enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his family. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Zachary and Madelyn.