Who is your contingent beneficiary?

Often when I meet new clients, and I am reviewing their current accounts, I notice that they always have a primary beneficiary listed on their retirement accounts, but no contingent beneficiary. Generally, no attention is paid to this beneficiary listing, but it is an important one. Most people list their spouse or significant other as a primary beneficiary, which is natural. I don’t know about you, but I often move around town with my husband. G-d forbid the unthinkable happens, if I had not listed our daughter as contingent beneficiary, my accounts would have to go through probate. Probate is a slow and costly experience that no one wants to deal with.
Please look at your retirement accounts and life insurance policies to make sure you have contingent beneficiaries listed. For your non-retirement accounts you can add a Transfer on Death designation to add beneficiaries and avoid probate on these accounts.