Gross McGinley Hosts Seminar on Beneficiary Designations on Retirement Accounts
On Thursday, May 21, 2015, Gross McGinley’s Wills, Trusts & Estates practice group held a seminar at the firm’s Allentown Office about beneficiary designations on retirement accounts.
Many clients believe that their will or trust will govern the distribution of all of their assets upon their death. If you read those documents, they typically sound all-encompassing. However, in reality, assets such as retirement plans are contractual arrangements between the owner of the asset and the company administering the retirement plan. Part of that contractual arrangement is the designation of beneficiaries upon the death of the owner. For many participants in a qualified retirement plan, or for the owner of an IRA, filling out that beneficiary designation is a once and done activity. Then, forgotten, sometimes changing, circumstances intervene to invoke the law of unintended consequences.
Attorney Mike Henry discussed the basic rules and options for designating beneficiaries, including leaving retirement plans to your estate, spousal rollover options, options to “stretch” retirement plans, and considerations with younger children and charitable beneficiaries.