Too often, people never look at their insurance policies, annuities or IRA's after they are purchased.  We are finding more and more cases where a problem is not discovered until after the death of the owner.  This makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to correct the problem.

One such problem occurs when a policy has been used as collateral for a loan to an individual or bank.  If the lender did not issue a release, the insurance company cannot pay to the beneficiary until a release is obtained.  This creates real problems for the beneficiary, especially in cases where the bank has merged or changed names or where the individual assignee is not available or is uncooperative.

Another problem occurs because of a little fact that people either don't realize or they forget.  If an instrument requires a beneficiary designation, that is an indication that any value therein will bypass probate.  Changing your will does not automatically change beneficiary designations.