Retirement Accounts and Estate Planning

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If you've contributed to a retirement account (IRA, 401(k), or other individual plan), then you've probably already avoided probate for the money in the account. That's because when you set up an account, your employer or the plan administrator typically gives you a form to fill out, asking you to name a beneficiary to inherit the funds in the account at your death. If you entered the name of one or more persons you want to leave the money to, you're in good shape. They'll be able to collect the money quickly and easily, without probate.

Still, there are some things you should know about naming beneficiaries: the rights of your spouse, the drawbacks of naming more than one beneficiary, and more. Here is information about your choices, so you can make the best decisions for your family.

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