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When opening an individual retirement account, purchasing a life insurance policy or annuity, or beginning contributions to a retirement plan such as a 401(k), you are typically asked to choose a beneficiary. Whether it’s your spouse, children, friends, or parents, a beneficiary is the person you designate to receive your accounts after you are deceased.

Too often, though, beneficiaries are chosen and then forgotten once an account is officially opened, which could lead to legal issues down the road. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants reminds account owners to regularly check who their beneficiaries are so that the most appropriate person receives their accounts.

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