Broker Check

Check your IRA beneficiaries

February 15, 2022

Who is the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), annuity, or life insurance policy? You filled out the beneficiary form when you signed up for the account, but many years may have passed since then. Are the people you wanted to benefit from your hard work your entire life this year the same as they were last year? Life can change quite a bit over time, so it’s important that you’ve got a record 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 investor must complete a form from the custodian, company holding the account, or the third-party administrator, the company who keeps the retirement plan records (also known as a TPA).

This form is the one that matters with an IRA, life insurance, or annuity. If you have one beneficiary to your IRA account and a different one on your will and trust, your intended heirs will end up with your estate minus those IRA funds. A simple way to manage this issue is attach a copy of your estate documents to the IRA beneficiary form and write “see attached” instead of a name. The best way to make sure your wishes are followed, is to do a beneficiary review. Click the Schedule a Meeting button at the top of this page to schedule your beneficiary review!