Not updating beneficiary designations
The biggest mistake I see is clients not updating beneficiary designations on their IRA, 401(k), and life insurance. I had a situation in which a new client came to me after her husband passed away. It was a second marriage but they had been married for almost 20 years. A life insurance policy was still in the name of the ex-wife. The IRAs had the beneficiary designations changed, but the life insurance policy was overlooked. The insurance policy proceeds went to the ex-wife. Beneficiary designations are written in stone once the owner passes away. No recourse.
John F. McAvoy, Waterstone Retirement Services, Canton, Mass., 02021, 781-821-0700