How do I designate where my retirement accounts and investment go upon my death? Well, whenever you’re dealing with individual retirement accounts or your retirement accounts through your employer, you have a beneficiary designation form. If it’s with a 401k, you must designate your spouse as the beneficiary unless the spouse agrees to waive that. In an IRA that’s not necessary. However, you do fill out a form where you designate the beneficiary when you set up your individual retirement account.
I suggest you also designate a successor beneficiary of the account in the event the primary predeceases you. It’s also helpful to remember to check that from time to time, particularly if your state plan changes. As far as your investment accounts are concerned, that would be controlled under your will or under your trust and you would need to designate the account under your trust.
There is something that I recommend and many of my clients, rather than having to set up a trust, is put a TOD designation on the trust, which is Transfer on Death. And that way you can designate who would receive the account upon your death or upon the death of both you and your significant other or spouse. So if you have any questions about designations, your retirement accounts, or your brokerage accounts, well give me a call at (727) 847-2288.