Online Beneficiary Changes

Key Takeaway

The beneficiary designation gives important rights upon your death. The following are some things to consider, as well as how to manage your beneficiaries online.

Instructions For Updating Beneficiaries:

  1. 1

    Log into My Alerus. If you need help logging in, visit Retirement Account Access.

  2. 2

    Select your plan under Accounts.

  3. 3

    Click on Plan Summary on the right side menu.

  4. 4

    Select Manage Beneficiaries on the left.

  5. 5

    Select add, edit, or remove beneficiary.

  6. 6

    Review and answer the beneficiary questions, click Next.

  7. 7

    Review your primary and secondary beneficiaries. Change and or delete beneficiaries as needed.

  8. 8

    Verify that the information provided is correct, and click Finish.

  9. 9

    A summary confirming the changes will be provided and may be printed or saved by clicking the Save Confirmation link.

Additional Considerations

Trust Designation

If you intend to designate a trustee as a beneficiary, you must have documentation to create a trust. A trust is created by signing a separate trust agreement or having a will with trust provisions.


Naming An Estate As a Beneficiary

In many cases, naming your “estate” as a beneficiary will limit options regarding taxation and distribution at the time of your death. Consult a tax advisor before naming an estate.


Spouse As Primary Beneficiary

Unless your spouse consents via notarized waiver, you cannot designate someone else as the primary beneficiary for your account. If you are single and become married, your new spouse becomes your primary beneficiary by default.


Divorce/Legal Separation

Consider updating your beneficiary designation in the event of divorce or legal separation.


Additional Children

Update your beneficiary designation any time you have additional children. The beneficiary designation does not automatically update as your family expands.


Beneficiaries Must Survive You

In order for designated beneficiaries to receive your account, they must survive you. In general, the plan will pay to primary beneficiaries living at your death. If no primary beneficiary survives you, it will pay to contingent beneficiaries. If you wish to have your account paid to your beneficiaries by representation, (for example, if your child predeceases you and you wish his/her share to be given to the deceased child’s children — your grandchildren) then indicate the words “per stirpes” after each designated beneficiary’s name.


Beneficiary Designation Questions

If you have any questions regarding the effect of beneficiary designation, you should seek the advice of your attorney.


Manage Your Beneficiaries Online

Employees are encouraged to review their beneficiaries online. Follow the steps below to add or modify your information.