It is important to keep all beneficiary designations on annuities and policies of insurance updated in order to reflect any change in circumstances. Insurance policies and annuities are usually non-probate assets, meaning they do not pass through the estate upon death. Instead, they are paid according to the instructions on file with the company.
As a result, simply changing the disposition of a will or trust instrument will not affect the manner in which these proceeds are paid. Often times, changes in circumstances, such as a divorce or a death in the family, may significantly impact how one intends to direct these payments. It is of vital importance to keep beneficiary designations updated both to accomplish planning goals and to avoid any complications for surviving family members.