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The Truth About Securing Your Retirement with IRAs: The Essential Truths in 20 Minutes by Steve Wiesman

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Truth 4 Beneficiary designations

Every owner of an IRA or a 401(k) should have an up-to-date beneficiary designation form that indicates who will receive the funds remaining in the IRA or 401(k) upon his death. If there is no beneficiary designation form or if the form is lost, the money is passed to the estate of the IRA or 401(k) owner, with adverse income tax consequences.

Warning

Many people fail to keep their beneficiary designations current. You should review these forms regularly, particularly as family circumstances change as a result of births, marriages, deaths, or divorces. You can change your beneficiary designations whenever you choose. However, if you neglect to remove a former spouse from your beneficiary statement, your ex-spouse ...

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