Non-probate Assets In FreeWill

Beneficiary designations for non-probate assets

Non-probate assets are assets that are passed on to beneficiaries other than through a will. 

Examples include IRAs, 401(k)s, and life insurance policy proceeds. Non-probate assets can make up a significant portion of your total property. In the estate planning context, beneficiaries are the people and organizations that receive property when its owner passes away. 

For non-probate assets, beneficiaries generally must be named using a particular form that is specific to each asset.

It is important to set beneficiaries for non-probate assets because the distribution of your non-probate assets is not controlled by your will.

To ensure that those assets go to the people and organizations you love, you must be sure to properly name your beneficiaries and update them over time. Most Americans have not properly designated beneficiaries for one or more of their non-probate assets. If neglected, the consequences can be both serious and expensive. 

How to add beneficiaries to your non-probate assets

The average middle-aged adult has over 5 major non-probate assets. Because these assets are often held across different institutions, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. FreeWill helps you organize all your non-probate assets in one place, so you can plan your beneficiary designations easily. 

Note: designating beneficiaries for such non-probate assets cannot be handled by your will. We will provide instructions on how to handle your non-probate assets at the end of your will-making process.

To add beneficiaries:

  1. Login to your FreeWill account
  2. Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen or follow this link.
  3. Click on 'My Documents'
  4. Select 'View/Edit' of your 'Last Will & Testament' document
  5. Select the 'Provisions' section in the top progress tracker and follow the instructions on the intake form

With FreeWill you also have the option to add custodial beneficiaries to your will. Below is a list of links to publicly available instructions from individual institutions to update your information.

Disclaimer: FreeWill is not a law firm, and does not provide legal advice. While FreeWill strives to ensure that its automated services are complete, they are meant purely as self-help forms. The materials and services are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney.

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