GWEB would like to remind you to check beneficiary designations on your assets on an annual basis, when you have major life changes or when making changes to your estate plan.  It is important to remember that jointly titled assets, beneficiary designated assets and accounts which are payable on death or transfer on death (POD/TOD) pass directly to the joint owner or beneficiary outside and separate from the Last Will & Testament.  These assets are “non-probate” assets, meaning they do not go through the probate process and are not subject to direction in the Last Will & Testament.  Some individuals mistakenly assume that the Will automatically overrides the valid beneficiary designations.  It is actually the opposite.  A meticulously drawn up Will which carries out your wishes for a particular distribution of property can be undone by your beneficiary designations.  Make sure that the choices that you have made with respect to the jointly owned or beneficiary property work in conjunction with your Will and your overall estate plan.  For more information on this topic, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.