Examiner.com: Deciding whom to designate as a beneficiary for your IRA might seem like an easy decision—you probably want your money to go to someone near and dear to you. But is the person (or people) you’re thinking of actually named as the beneficiary on the particular IRA you opened all those years ago?
To be certain, it’s wise to review your beneficiary designation form every few years, or whenever you’ve had a change in circumstances, such as a birth of a child or grandchild or change in marital status. Changing your beneficiary is easy—you simply complete a new beneficiary designation form. Keep in mind that a will or trust does not override this form, or the IRA document itself (which may have “default” beneficiary designations that control even if no beneficiary designation is on file), unless you name your estate or trust as your beneficiary. Because beneficiary designations are important estate-planning documents, you may want to review them with your attorney.