When is the last time you updated your beneficiary designations?
It's truly amazing the amount of people who have prior spouses or deceased relatives still named as a beneficiary on a retirement account at a former employer, or on a life insurance policy purchased long ago.
That's why it's so important that after marriages, divorces, births, deaths and other major life events, account-holders need to check and, if necessary, update beneficiary statements.
Financial advisors say this is one of the most common and potentially costly retirement and estate planning errors that savers and investors make.
"The classic worst case is you get divorced, your [ex-]wife is named as beneficiary and you never change the form," said Ed Slott, a certified public accountant in Rockville Centre, New York. "You might have changed your will to leave everything to the kids.