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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Dec 2, 2014.


If I'm married but have an individual savings account with a beneficiary (my son) other than my spouse, if I die can my spouse still get access to the savings account even though he is not the beneficiary?


If your son is an adult at the time he inherits the savings account, then it would pass to him as the beneficiary with little to no difficulty.

However, if upon your death your son is still a minor, then it is possible that the surviving parent or a court-appointed custodian will be given the funds to manage on his behalf.

If this is a concern, consider designating a trusted adult as the beneficiary, making it clear that the money is intended for your son.  Even better, a will and proper estate planning will guarantee your goals are met.  Consult an attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure your money and other assets are distributed as you wish.

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