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What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries in Ohio?

What is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries in Ohio?
April 21, 2021 Shannon Dawes
Columbus Ohio estate planning attorney

It’s common to think that estate planning it’s just deciding whether you need a trust or will. However, estate planning matters deal with all of your possessions, assets, and other affairs to make sure that these things, amongst others, are handled according to your goals and your desires in the event of your passing. And a traditional estate plan, there are assets such as farmland, property, houses, retirement accounts, investment accounts, pensions, many other types of assets. Typically, these assets pass through probate court Without issue when there is a trust or a will at hand. Monies held financial accounts are generally handled through beneficiary designation forms. In this article, we will discuss the legal differences between primary versus secondary beneficiaries.

What is the Difference Between a Primary or Secondary Beneficiary?

In the state of Ohio, a primary beneficiary is an individual or entity who is “1st inline” to receive the benefits or money in a specific account. For example, a life insurance policy determines who will be the primary beneficiary of the policy. Upon the insured’s death, the primary beneficiary airy will receive the proceeds.

A secondary beneficiary is generally considered to be the “back up” beneficiary who only receives and accounts proceeds if the primary beneficiary is unable to do so. It is recommended that any investment accounts, transfer on death deposit accounts, retirement accounts, or any other financial accounts have at least one primary beneficiary designated for that financial account. It’s also wise to assign one or more secondary beneficiaries.

In the state of Ohio, there is no one specific template or legal document that can be filled out ends assigns a primary beneficiary to all financial, banking, or investment accounts. Typically, these beneficiaries are added to the account at the initial opening of the account. However, you can obtain these forms at your bank or financial institution and make any required changes to who you name as the primary beneficiary.

Ohio Sets No Limit on the Number of Beneficiaries

In the state of Ohio, a person can name as many primary and secondary beneficiaries as they choose. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the account holder is required to specify what percentage of the proceeds each beneficiary shall receive.

Does Legal, our knowledgeable state planning team is here to assist you and identifying your beneficiaries in determining the best steps and processes the best safeguard your family interests at the time of your passing. Call Dawes Legal LLC at 614-733-9999 to receive your free case review.