Re: Wills and Beneficiaries of IRAs.

Asked over 1 year ago - Miami, FL

I was looking over my Will which was done 10 years ago and the beneficiaries are different from the ones I currently have on my IRAs and IRA Annuities. There are no specific amounts stated in the Will for anyone, but that whatever remains would be divided among 4 beneficiaries.
Should my Will be now brought up to date to reflect these new beneficiaries?
Also, does your personal jewelry, clothing, etc. just become part of the estate?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . The beneficiaries for your IRAs and annuities take outside of probate and thus, these assets are not affected or controlled by the terms of your Will. If your objectives have changed since you signed your Will, however, you should review your estate plan with your attorney to make sure it still does what you want it to. You should also consider updating your power of attorney forms, as well, because I believe Florida's law has changed regarding these forms, in recent years.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  2. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . The beneficiaries on your retirement account can be different than your instructions in the will and trust.
    The choice is totally yours.
    You should meet with an estate planning attorney and come up with a solid plan.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  3. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18

    8

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    Answered . Attorney Frederick is correct. Think of it this way:

    a) your will controls solely-owned assets without a beneficiary (e.g., probate assets);
    b) IRA and IRA annuities have named beneficiaries (e.g., non-probate assets unless the estate is named as the beneficiary).

    Individuals should coordinate their probate assets and their non-probate assets when making decisions relating to the distribution of both. Thus, it is probably advisable for you to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to walk through your current will and beneficiary designations to make sure that they properly reflect your current wishes. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor... more
  4. Dennis Michael Phillips

    Contributor Level 17

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    Answered . It's a good idea to update your documents, if the beneficiaries have changed. Dealing with IRAs is a little bit tricky; and you need to coordinate your IRA/annuity beneficiary designations with your Will/Trust beneficiaries because Wills and Trusts have no effect on IRA/annuity payouts after your death. Generally, you wouldn't want your estate or a trust to be the beneficiary of your IRA/annuity funds. There are some simple, yet important, steps to take to maximize your estate planning efficiency.
    dennis@411financial.com

    Do you know the consequences of your legal situation on your Financial & Estate Plan? Dennis Phillips is an... more
  5. Abel Lopez

    Contributor Level 11

    4

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . As the other attorneys have said, the IRAs and other accounts were you can specify the pay on death beneficiaries are not affected by your will. They pass outside of probate. All your other property is part of your probate estate, including your jewelry and person items. Usually a will specifies who these personal items go to. If the beneficiaries in you will are not the same people you currently wish your property to go to, then you should update your will.

    This does not create an attorney/client relationship. This does not constitue legal advice. It is limited to facts... more
  6. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . All of you property for which there is no beneficiary designation or other probate substitute, such as a trust, is part of your probate estate and subject to distribution pursuant to you Will.

    Your IRA and IRA Annuities pass pursuant to the beneficiaries designation on the IRA account. Your Will does not control those.

    To the extent you are contemplating equal distributions including the IRA proceeds, you should coordinate your Will and the beneficiary designations.

    You would be wise to contact an estate planning attorney to assist you.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more

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