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Thread: Estate planning question- 401k and IRA beneficiaries

  1. #1
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    Estate planning question- 401k and IRA beneficiaries

    I asked this question on facebook, and an attorney told me "it depends". So curious what kind of answers I get here.

    Question:

    If my 401k and IRA benficiaries are my kids at 50% each, and the contingent is my 75 year old father, what happens to the 401k and IRA assets if one of my kids dies before I change the beneficiary? FYI I am divorced.

    Does my other kid inherit 100%
    Does my dad inherit the 50% which was allocated to my deceased child?
    Or what other considerations are in play?

    And I know setting up a trust solves the problem. Curious if anyone has seen this happen, and what state are you in where that was the flow of assets?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Estate planning question- 401k and IRA beneficiaries

    Since your dad is in the contingent beneficiary class, your other kid inherits 100%. Generally a trust does not directly address IRA and 401k assets because the beneficiary designations with those assets take precedence.


  4. #3
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    Re: Estate planning question- 401k and IRA beneficiaries

    I understand that the contingent only kicks-in if the primary beneficiary fails completely. But I'd call or email the company managing the account and have them tell you. It should be "an easy one" for them.


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