Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, January 6, 2014

Review Your Retirement Accounts


The beginning of the year is a good time to ensure the beneficiary designation forms for your retirement accounts are up to date.  The best way to designate your beneficiary will depend on your goals.  Here are a few options:

  • Name your spouse as the beneficiary, but be sure to name contingent beneficiaries as well.

  • Stretch out your IRA to give your heirs more time to extend the tax advantages. 

  • If a child has predeceased you, provide for your grandchildren by making per stirpes distributions.

  • Preserve assets by naming a trust as the beneficiary of a retirement account.

  • Give your heirs options by naming alternates, who will inherit an account if the primary beneficiary decides to disclaim.

  • Save income and estate taxes by naming a charity as the beneficiary.

See Deborah L. Jacobs, How to Leave Your IRA to Those You Love, Forbes, Jan. 3, 2014.


Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink

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