Please note: Call center hours expanded to open at 8:00 am EDT to better serve our clients.
Visit our Coronavirus Resource Center for important updates and resources to help you navigate this time (this resource center also includes information related to the CARES Act and IRS Tax Deadline updates).


Managing Your Account

What’s Possible and Not Possible When Naming an IRA Beneficiary

January 10, 2018
It’s a good idea to review your will every year or so to make sure it remains current with your wishes.
CNN Money

CNN Money also states, “Also check it after major life changes, including the death of one of your heirs; the birth of a potential new heir; a significant shift in your financial situation; major adjustments to your investment portfolio; real estate purchases and sales; and changes to the tax code.”

It’s possible to name a trust or charity as a beneficiary, but what about something unusual such as a pet?

No, you can’t directly list a pet as a beneficiary for an IRA.

But if you are interested in making sure a pet is taken care of after the account owner passes away, it might be possible to have a trust that is set-up to care for a pet.’s Money article “How to Make Sure Your Pet Is Cared for When You Die,” introduces the idea of a pet trust. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers a resource on the pet trust laws for each state, plus the District of Columbia as of 2015. In May 2016, Minnesota became the last state to enact a pet trust law.

As with all estate, tax, and financial matters, a trusted professional can help you navigate the rules and options available when selecting a designated beneficiary for your retirement account.

Equity Trust Company requests beneficiary information as part of the process of establishing a new account.

We also have a Change of Beneficiary form so our account holders can change or update existing beneficiary information.

You can view your beneficiary information through myEQUITY, our account management portal for clients, as well as on your quarterly statements.

If you decide to update your beneficiary information, our client service team can assist you in completing the Change of Beneficiary form to process your request.

Have Questions?

Get answers to your questions and learn more about building wealth with tax advantaged accounts.

Ask Us