Review your ownership and beneficiary designations

Life’s Financial Journeys

Heading Off to College
Getting Out on Your Own
Blending Two Lives
Having a Child
Emptying the Nest
Entering Retirement
Death of a Life Partner
Military Life

Assets can be owned by one person or jointly by one or more people.

Single ownership assets will go to your legal heirs at your death. Legal heirs can be named in your will or by state law if you have no will. Jointly owned assets can transfer outside of a will as non-probate property if you use joint tenancy with right of survivorship.

With some assets, notable life insurance and retirement accounts, a beneficiary is named to take ownership when you die. As an empty-nester, your changed family status requires that you review and adjust all these designations as desired.

The following resources may assist you in reviewing your ownership and beneficiary designations:

Estate Planning Basics

Avoiding Probate

What is Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Joint Tenancy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Payable on Death Accounts

Avoid Making Mistakes When Naming a Beneficiary

Naming Beneficiaries for Blended Families

Naming a Life Insurance Beneficiary

Emptying the Nest Tasks

1. Financing college
2. Revising your spending plan
3. Planning for long-term care
4. Preparing for retirement
5. Estate planning

Estate planning Subtasks

1. Review your ownership and beneficiary designations
2. Revise your will with the assistance of an estate planning professional
3. Prepare advance directives


NAPFA Consumer Education Foundation
8700 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 700N
Chicago, IL 60631
(847) 483–5400 ext. 106