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Five Questions to Ask When Setting Up Your IRA Beneficiaries

Posted by Michael J. O'Connor | CWS®, Vice President Investments
April 30, 2014

One of the great things about setting up beneficiaries on your retirement and other investment accounts is that you can set them up virtually any way you want. You can relinquish complete control of your assets, or you can set up systems to maintain some control over how the assets are distributed. The choice is yours.

When deciding how to assign beneficiaries on your retirement and other investment accounts (including your IRA beneficiaries), there are a few important considerations. 

Here are five questions to discuss with your financial advisor when discussing setting up your beneficiaries.

1) Who do you want to inherit your assets - Your spouse, children, other relatives, a charity?

2) How do you want the beneficiary to receive the assets - All at once, in pre-determined intervals? What are your distribution options?

3) Who are your contingent beneficiaries? What’s your “Plan B” if your primary beneficiaries are not able to receive them?

4) What are the tax implications of passing along the assets to your beneficiaries, and are there different ways to control how the taxes play out?

5) If you have Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), how are those affected once the assets are inherited? Do your beneficiaries have to continue taking them, and if so, how is the RMD determined?

Taking Full Control of How Your Assets Are Distributed

There are forms and legal documents that must be filled out a certain way to ensure your wishes are carried out as you want them to be. This is where having the help of a financial advisor/tax specialist is crucial, as you do not want to leave anything to chance.

You’ve worked hard to earn and save this money, and it’s important that the assets are cared for even after you pass away. If you'd like to discuss your retirement accounts or IRA beneficiary situation, give one of our Wealth Managers a call at (800) 541-7774.

Retirement Planning