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Primary Beneficiary of IRA & Annuity Accounts

Bogleheads • View forum - Personal Finance (Not Investing) - www.bogleheads.org
My elderly mother has a rollover IRA account in her name with the primary beneficiary the Living Trust for my mother and now deceased father. The secondary beneficiaries are all of her children.

My mother also has an after tax deferred annuity account with the same company (Ameriprise) where the primary beneficiaries are all of her children. There is no secondary beneficiary.

The differences in treatment are probably because two different sisters filled out the paperwork when we recently changed the beneficiaries when my father passed away.

My primary question is whether we are OK with the trust as the primary beneficiary of the IRA? My second question is whether we should make the trust the primary beneficiary of the after tax account. The children are the only beneficiaries of the trust so the proceeds theoretically should end up in the same place. My only concern is that we might end up with some of this going into my Mom's estate and then probate if we aren't careful. Her trust is intended to avoid probate so I don't want to undermine that by how we handle these beneficiaries.

All insights very welcome. Thanks.


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