H2R CPA Blog

Does my Last Will and Testament determine who inherits my IRA, 401(k) and annuity accounts?

by Paul K. Rudoy, CPA/PFS, Managing Partner 

No. Beneficiary designations control how these assets are transferred upon death. Wills do not play a role here. This is a serious mistake many people make, particularly when second marriages and two families are involved, when your spouse
is not a parent of your children, or when you want a special allocation that is not pro rata, such as leaving more to one child than another.

We have seen many circumstances where people have elaborate asset allocations in their wills that have been drafted perfectly by attorneys. However, as people get older, many times the main asset to leave to heirs is a retirement account(s). Without the proper beneficiary designations, children often unintentionally receive almost nothing from a parent’s estate.

There are many other aspects to a good estate plan, but it is important to make sure your retirement and annuity bequests match your wishes.

Contact H2R CPA at 412-391-2920 or team@h2rcpa.com for more information or to receive a complimentary Estate Planning consultation.