The Importance of Selecting an IRA Beneficiary

Do you have an IRA or a 401(k)? You probably do. You may have both of these retirement savings accounts in your portfolio or accounts that are similar.

Provided by Mark Gowin

While IRAs and 401(k)s are commonplace, many IRA owners and 401(k) plan participants have a hard time answering a common question: who should they designate as the account beneficiary?

Who have you chosen to inherit those funds? Can you imagine what would happen if the money in your IRA or 401(k) went to someone from whom you were estranged? Or if your heirs found out that you never named a beneficiary in the first place?

This occurs more often than you might think – and a little attention to detail today may help to prevent surprise or disappointment later.

When was the last time you looked at your beneficiary forms? Decades may have passed since you opened that IRA or enrolled in that 401(k) plan. Back then, you presumably filled out a form stating who you wanted those assets to go to if you pass away. Even factoring in the hunt for a beneficiary’s Social Security number, it might have taken you all of ten minutes to complete.

In that moment, you may have made one of your biggest estate planning decisions. You need to make sure your decision is still the right one.

I’ll help you review your IRA & 401(k) beneficiary designations. It is vital to make sure that your IRA or 401(k) funds will go to whom you wish in the case of your passing. As a free service to the community, I provide beneficiary reviews and explain a lot of the “fine print” when it comes to the timeline of the assets distributions. I also let people know about their options when they inherit IRA funds or 401(k) funds – you have to be very careful because making careless moves could yield substantial tax consequences. Call me at 757-477-1940 or email – I’m happy to help out.
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