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Relying On An IRA Custodian For Advice

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This is a heads up for anyone deciding on how to designate beneficiaries of an IRA based on advice from an IRA custodian call-center employee.

When you call your IRA custodian, checking your account balance or requesting paperwork for a transaction is straightforward, but designating beneficiaries, paying an IRA to a trust, or leaving someone other than your spouse your IRA is an entirely different matter.

Even if the service from your IRA custodian receives high ratings from consumers, calling in with a question about the disposition of an IRA upon your death may be placing faith in the advice of a recent college graduate new to financial and tax planning. Relying on advice from a custodian call center employee about your IRA beneficiary designations is a gamble unless you’re an expert on IRAs. Please also keep in mind:

  • Even if you have a will, your beneficiary designations probably will override it.
  • You can name different beneficiaries on each IRA account you own, and designations made years ago at old IRA accounts should be confirmed as correct and in accordance with your wishes.

Nothing contained herein is to be considered a solicitation, research material, an investment recommendation, or advice of any kind, and it is subject to change without notice. Any investments or strategies referenced herein do not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person. Product suitability must be independently determined for each individual investor. Tax advice always depends on your particular personal situation and preferences. You should consult the appropriate financial professional regarding your specific circumstances. The material represents an assessment of financial, economic and tax law at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance, or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete, and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Advisor Products and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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