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Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations


One of the most common estate planning mistakes is failing to properly consider and execute beneficiary designation forms for all IRA’s and 401(k)’s.  Errors and oversights in beneficiary forms can lead to unintended consequences, including disinheriting intended beneficiaries and limiting income tax deferral options for beneficiaries.

In a recent article, Forbes contributor Deborah L. Jacobs explains “How to Leave your IRA to those you Love“.  Ms. Jacobs does an excellent of explaining why this topic is so important and some of the options and ramifications to consider.

Beneficiary designation forms should never be left to chance and should always be coordinated with an individual’s overall estate plan.  As part of our comprehensive estate planning process, we generally include the planning, preparation and submission of retirement account beneficiary designation forms.

It’s also important to note that this planning is not a one time event.  At a minimum, designations should be reviewed at least every 3 to 5 years because accounts come and go and beneficiaries and their needs may change.

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