Checking Beneficiaries

Physician's Money Digest, September30 2004, Volume 11, Issue 18


The designated beneficiary for yourIRA will inherit the assets in the account,regardless of what your will may specify.Even if you've written your formerspouse out of your will, for example, theywould inherit your IRA if you haven'tchanged your beneficiary designation.Keep your beneficiary designations current,retirement counselors say. Be sure tocheck your IRA beneficiaries wheneverthere's a major change in your life (eg,marriage, divorce, or the birth of achild). If you fail to name a beneficiary,the IRA assets will be folded into yourestate, which could have some nasty taxconsequences. Some IRA administratorswill let you designate beneficiaries byrelationship rather than name. Thus, ifyou name your children as beneficiaries,any additional children born after youmake the designation are covered.