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Beneficiary Designations in Retirement Accounts: Protecting a Lifetime of Savings

October 10, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The largest single asset class for most clients is financial accounts, other than personal residential real estate. These accounts may be retirement plans like 401(k)s or IRAs, annuity or insurance contracts, or a variety of brokerage or bank accounts. The crucial planning aspect of these types of accounts or contracts is that they can be transferred through beneficiary designations. Though a seemingly simple expedient, beneficiary designations vary among types of account and each comes with its own nuances – and traps, which is sprung can lead to severely adverse tax and practical outcomes.  This program will provide you with a real-world guide to understanding, reviewing, and drafting beneficiary designations in trust and estate planning.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hour


  • How beneficiary designations vary depending on the type of custodial account involved
  • Differences among retirement accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, life insurance policies
  • How designations differ depending on the type of beneficiary – individual, institutional, trust, etc.
  • “Payable on Death” agreements for bank accounts
  • Practical guidance on how designations are made & common drafting traps
  • Extending benefits for maximum period possible


Blanche Lark Christerson, Deutsche Bank Wealth Management – New York City