Ask the IRA Expert: How to Set Up Beneficiaries for My IRA

By John Bowens1 Comments

Question:
 
Dear John Bowens,
 
I’m a little confused about how I can set up beneficiaries for my IRA. I have a living will already but on the application to open an account, it is asking me to declare beneficiaries and assign each beneficiary a percentage of my IRA. I have three children and three houses so I figured it would be nice to set it up so that I have one house go to each of my three children. Is this possible?
 
Jon G.
 
Answer:
 
Hi, Jon. Thanks for your question. Determining how your retirement assets and funds will be passed to your family is an important step when setting up any IRA. The beneficiaries you select for your Equity Trust account apply to your IRA in its entirety and your assets will be divided pursuant to the percentages that you direct. (i.e. You cannot direct that a particular asset pass to a particular beneficiary.)
 
Equity Trust requests that you assign a percentage of your IRA to each beneficiary. It is important to note the designated percentages must be whole numbers. Even if you would prefer to divide up the IRA evenly among your 3 children, you could not direct that a beneficiary receive 33.3% of your IRA. It would have to be 33 or 34. The percentage applies to the value of the entire IRA at the time of your death.
 
Equity Trust also permits clients to select a Trust as an IRA beneficiary.  For the client who is especially interested in passing certain assets to specific beneficiaries, we urge you to consult with your legal, tax and financial advisor about planning options such as a Trust.  Creating a Trust, is an important step in your retirement planning process that should only be undertaken with the assistance of your qualified financial professional or team.
 
I hope that helps, Jon. Thank you again for your question and good luck in your financial future!


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