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. This is more expensive and time consuming than naming beneficiaries.
- 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.
A Word About Beneficiary Forms – Further considerations once you are ready to complete your forms