Many people assume if you are married, your entire estate will simply go to your spouse according to your Will once you pass away and your Will is probated.  However, you may have “non-probate” assets that will pass, instead of by Will, to a beneficiary you designated when you acquired the asset.  You may have made these beneficiary designations many years ago, and failed to update them.  If that is the case, they may not reflect your current wishes for this important part of your estate.
It is always a good idea to check these designations periodically, and especially when you have a life changing event like a marriage, a birth, a Long-Term illness, or a death.  Some assets like 401(k) plans automatically go to your spouse by law, unless your spouse waives the right.  If you want to make other beneficiary designations for assets like your 401(k) account, your individual retirement account, or your life insurance, you will need to do this as part of your Estate Planning.  It is also important that as your circumstances change, all of your accounts (including probate and non-probate assets) are properly titled to reflect your needs and your wishes.
Proper beneficiary designation and account titling are part of every estate plan and Medicaid Asset Preservation Strategy discussion you have with Elder Law Group PLLC.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this important planning task.  We are always happy to help!