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. 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, though, is to check directly with whomever administers the account for you and confirm the beneficiary on file.