Claims for retirement benefits after death can be difficult for families if they don’t have the right information. Fortunately, there are steps you can take now to ensure that your retirement accounts pass smoothly to your loved ones when you are gone someday.
For starters, each retirement account you own should have a named beneficiary, whether that’s a spouse, children, or other family members. By naming a beneficiary, you ensure that any remaining funds in those retirement accounts are passed on to the beneficiary without them having go through a process called probate, which can cost a lot of time and money.
In order to make it easy for your family to locate all of your accounts, it’s a good idea to create a list that includes your account names, the account types, where they are held, who the beneficiaries are, and any information your loved ones would need to access the accounts in the event of your death.
This list may change occasionally depending on the type of account and the amount of money it holds, so it’s important to review your accounts on a regular basis and update the list as necessary. An Ohio elder law attorney can help you compile a list with all of the correct information and assist with reviews to make sure your distribution plan matches up with your current situation and your wishes for your family. Your attorney may also keep a copy of the list to assist your family in claiming their retirement benefits in the event of your death.
Don’t forget that in addition to retirement benefits, your family may be eligible for survivor benefits from Social Security following your death, typically the full amount you would have received. There are certain eligibility qualifications that must be met for this to happen: your spouse must either be at least 60 years old, 50 years old and disabled, or caring for minor children. Children can also receive benefits if they are under 18, in primary or secondary school, or disabled before the age of 22. An experienced Ohio elder law attorney can help you determine whether your loved ones are eligible to receive Social Security benefits in the event of your death.
If you would like to get more information about retirement benefit claims after death, or if you are currently working on receiving retirement benefit claims and would like to discuss your options, please contact our Ohio elder law attorneys at 877-653-3450 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.