When you list the people who will benefit from your lifetime of hard work (your beneficiaries), is that group of names the same this year as last? Life can change in the blink of an eye, and it’s important that you have a record (i.e., a will or trust) of who gets what in case something happens to you.
Usually, a will or trust can govern all assets. But an IRA can work differently. In most cases, an IRA owner must complete a beneficiary form. This form can come either from the custodian, the company holding the account, or the third-party administrator (the company that keeps the retirement plan records, also known as a TPA).
This IRA beneficiary form really matters because if the named beneficiary on your IRA account is different than the one on your will and trust, your intended heir(s) won’t receive those IRA funds. You can prevent this problem by attaching a copy of your estate documents to the IRA beneficiary form and writing “see attached” instead of a name. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check directly with whoever administers the account for you and confirm the beneficiary on file.
We’re passionate about ensuring your money is aligned with your needs and goals. So if you have questions about beneficiaries, IRAs, retirement planning, or other financial topics, just give us a call. We’re happy to help.