The Importance of Updating Your Beneficiaries

Financial Advisors Help with Mediacare

When the end of the year approaches, many advisors plan their client annual reviews.

When was the last time you reminded your client to update their beneficiary designations?

This isn’t the fun part of financial planning, but it is critical to make sure your client’s financial wishes are met.

It is inevitable that life events such as marriage, birth, and death will happen. When these changes occur clients are processing the emotions that follow, and surely the last thing on their mind is updating their current beneficiary choices.

We understand how costly retirement and estate planning errors are, but do they?

Let’s discuss

What is the cause of oversight in this area?

There are numerous misconceptions such as:

  • It is the job of plan custodians or administrators
  • The local financial institution will remind them to update their accounts
  • Their last will & testament will trump all other designations

Also, if you consider clerical errors and financial institution mergers where data is not transferred or lost altogether.

You know that our industry is full of jargon, and it is easy to become overwhelmed with acronyms like P.O.D, T.O.D, Per Stirpes, and on and on.

How do you help your client keep their beneficiaries up to date without being that pestering mom?

According to a Financial Advisor Magazine survey, the main reason clients fire their financial advisor is poor communication, or a failure to communicate on a timely basis. 1a.

What’s more, one in four clients would leave their advisors because of a lack of “personal connection,” according to a study from AIG Life & Retirement and MIT AgeLab. 1b.

So, stop worrying that you are pestering them. Keep your clients engaged whether it’s phone calls, video chats, or using social media apps it’s now easier than ever to stay in touch.

You do not want the only time that you contact your client to be a replay of the March 2020 conversation.

Plus, we want to know when big life events happen in our clients’ lives, right?

This way we can adjust our client’s plan as needed.

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Send them a personalized postcard with a nice handwritten note reminding them each year
  • Remind them when they come in for their annual review
  • Set up a yearly email calendar reminder for yourself and invite them as a guest

As a Trusted Financial Expert, we know what our goal is to keep our clients educated, informed, and engaged.

Need to know if you are asking the right questions during your annual review? Watch as Crystal Langdon shows you how to prepare for your next annual review. WATCH HERE.

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