Most IRAs, whether traditional or Roth IRAs, play a key role in estate planning. As long as an IRA has a named beneficiary, when the account holder passes away, the beneficiary will receive the proceeds of the IRA by operation of law. All that would need to be provided to the financial institution where the account is held is positive identification of the beneficiary and proof of death of the account holder (i.e., certified copy of death certificate). If a beneficiary predeceases (dies before) the account holder does, or if there is a change in life circumstance or change of mind, it is always important to update the primary and contingency beneficiary information on one’s IRA account. In the instance where an IRA leaves no named beneficiary when the account holder passes away, the IRA account will have to go through probate (if there is a will) or an administration proceeding if one dies intestate (without a will). To prevent unnecessary legal or Court fees and unnecessary delay, having updated beneficiary information on one’s IRA is very important.
Should you need to speak to a Long Island estate attorney, please contact us at the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert by calling (516) 280-7288 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.