Estate Planning

FAQs About Estate Planning

Does an IRA Beneficiary Designation Override a Will?

by Rania Combs

I recently received a note from a woman whose mother had recently passed away. Her mother’s Will directed that her estate be divided equally among her three children. However, she had an IRA that listed one child as the beneficiary and it did not include the other two. “Does the beneficiary designation triumph over the wishes in the Will,” she asked.

Assets like IRAs are non-probate assets. They pass by beneficiary designation and are not controlled by a Will. The only time a Will would control a non-probate asset is if no beneficiary is designated or the estate is named as the beneficiary. That’s why it’s so important to coordinate non-probate assets with the way your Will disposes of your property.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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