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Additional Tips on Beneficiary Designations

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Good estate planning requires coordinating the provisions of your will and/or living trust with all the beneficiary designations you've made on IRAs, life insurance policies, and other financial accounts. Here are some additional points to keep in mind:

  • If you want to provide lifetime income: Beneficiary designations that benefit KQED can often be arranged to provide lifetime income to a friend or family member — through a gift annuity or charitable remainder trust, for example.
  • If you fail to name beneficiaries: If you fail to name beneficiaries for life insurance, securities or financial accounts, they will become part of your probate estate and pass under your will or state intestacy laws.
  • If you have U.S. savings bonds: U.S. savings bonds cannot name a charitable organization as beneficiary, but you could leave bonds to KQED in your will.
  • If a named beneficiary dies before you: What would happen if a named beneficiary dies before you? You should always provide for contingent beneficiaries, such as children of a deceased beneficiary or an alternative beneficiary, such as KQED.
  • Consider the income tax consequences of naming beneficiaries: Get professional advice when naming beneficiaries of retirement accounts, which are usually subject to federal and possibly state income taxes, depending on where your beneficiary resides.
  • Consider an annual review of your beneficiary designations: Review your beneficiary designations on an annual basis, along with your will and other estate documents.

Next:

A Word About Beneficiary Forms - Further considerations once you are ready to complete your forms

Return to Retirement Plans & Other Beneficiary Designations Home

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