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tell a beneficiary?
Old 08-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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tell a beneficiary?

While reviewing non-spouse beneficiaries of my IRA and 401k I've wondered if I should tell any of them they have been named. Because money can be a difficult topic, I've pretty much decided not to on the basis it could negatively change the relationship. Let them be surprised. I'm wondering if "Mum's the word" has been the approach of most here.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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If you were to die how would they get the benefit if they don't know about it? Who would notify the financial institution that you have died? if you have an executor or representative set up then I guess there is no need to let them know.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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I don't tell. It keeps me alive.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Since I am leaving everything to DW.... I do not have to worry....


But, before being married, I did not tell anybody... things change... relationships change.... wills change....


So, let them be surprised....
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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I don't tell. It keeps me alive.
+1

One of my life principles is to always make sure I am worth more alive rather than dead and never motivate anything other than my continued good health.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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All that info is in our trust. The executors ( a niece and nephew) have been told they are the executors and where the trust can be found upon our demise. Other than that, no one knows anything.......
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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If you have an executor who knows where to find what, I don't see a need to inform beneficaries. We have a will book and made sure my sons know where to find it. It should not surprise them to learn they are the beneficaries.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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Right now, our two children are the only beneficiaries. I don't think we have to tell them; they would suspect that much.

However, they do not know how much we have. Although I do not expect to spend it all, I often tell them that I have already provided them for their education, gotten them launched into a working life with no debt, and with a good start on the finances. We gave our daughter 20% down money for her 1st home, and will do the same for my son. In effect, I prepare them to be on their own, and anything extra will be gravy. It might be a lot of gravy or little, I cannot be sure because of the economic uncertainty.

It's funny how, at the same time we hope to leave them something, we also hope that they will do so well that they do not need it.

Now, where's that thread about spending more as we age? But when your sight is dim, your hearing is shot, your palate is dull, and your walk wobbly, what the hell does a geezer spend his money on, and what for?

PS. No, I am not in the above state yet, in case anybody wonders. But I always look ahead, you see.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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I don't have kids, nor any other natural person as a beneficiary, so have no need to tell anybody. But if I did, I wouldn't tell them. As somebody else stated, things change.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
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I wouldn't tell. I would let it be a surprise. To the question "If you were to die how would they get the benefit if they don't know about it?", that's what an executor for your will is for.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #11
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You may want to tell them, leave a note or instruct the executor to let them know. Executors are under no legal obligation to notify beneficiaries of IRA's. This type of asset falls outside of the estate. I was advised by my attorney about this specific issue. I had a PITA sibling that sued at every turn, so I decided to not volunteer this information since I wasn't legally obligated to do so. The legal opinion was it would keep the sibling from funding more lawsuits. I think this is why there's so much unclaimed money floating around.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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I was told by Schwab where my iras are that I must supply them with social security numbers of any person designated a beneficiary. Right now my spouse is sole beneficiary, but want to name several nieces and nephews as secondary...but do not want them to know incase something changes....so have not added them yet since its awkward to ask without telling them why...any suggestions ?
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #13
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Right now, our two children are the only beneficiaries. I don't think we have to tell them; they would suspect that much.

However, they do not know how much we have. Although I do not expect to spend it all, I often tell them that I have already provided them for their education, gotten them launched into a working life with no debt, and with a good start on the finances. We gave our daughter 20% down money for her 1st home, and will do the same for my son. In effect, I prepare them to be on their own, and anything extra will be gravy. It might be a lot of gravy or little, I cannot be sure because of the economic uncertainty.

.
+1
Although my sons are aware that they are our beneficaries, all I've told them is ""When the time comes, I do hope to leave you something. But the simple fact is that the cost of care in our aging years may eat up everything tht we've saved, so don't plan or count on anything"
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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I was told by Schwab where my iras are that I must supply them with social security numbers of any person designated a beneficiary. Right now my spouse is sole beneficiary, but want to name several nieces and nephews as secondary...but do not want them to know incase something changes....so have not added them yet since its awkward to ask without telling them why...any suggestions ?
That's very interesting. None of my banking accounts, including Vanguard, Fidelity, TIAA, Discover and Ally have asked me for SS#'s for my beneficiaries. I've often wondered why they don't, as it seems like a good way to positively identify someone before they hand over all of my money after I'm gone. Is Schwab the only one who asks for them?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #15
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That's very interesting. None of my banking accounts, including Vanguard, Fidelity, TIAA, Discover and Ally have asked me for SS#'s for my beneficiaries. I've often wondered why they don't, as it seems like a good way to positively identify someone before they hand over all of my money after I'm gone. Is Schwab the only one who asks for them?
Have you named them? You may need to do so, give birthdates, addresses, and so on. You can do all that online but you have to take the initiative.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #16
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+1
Although my sons are aware that they are our beneficaries, all I've told them is ""When the time comes, I do hope to leave you something. But the simple fact is that the cost of care in our aging years may eat up everything tht we've saved, so don't plan or count on anything"
Hmmmm....so if they are going to kill you, they should do it sooner rather than later, failing which pick the cheapest rest home they can find? On the plus side, if children know they are unlikely to inherit anything, I suppose that should reduce the risk of them being fiscally irresponsible.


I would not tell anyone that they may be a beneficiary of my will - if I change my mind later it is an invitation to dispute the terms of my final will.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:48 PM   #17
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Ready, I just reread your message and noticed you said "banking". I think for that you want a will.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #18
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You may want to tell them, leave a note or instruct the executor to let them know. Executors are under no legal obligation to notify beneficiaries of IRA's. This type of asset falls outside of the estate.
Interesting. What about the brokerages, banks, etc.? Eventually they will learn about a death of an account holder. Are they not then obligated to honor the beneficiary designations?
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #19
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Eventually they will learn about a death of an account holder. Are they not then obligated to honor the beneficiary designations?
Not until they get the death certificate.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:24 PM   #20
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Or, tell lots of people that you are trying to decide who should be the beneficiary and let the kissing up begin.
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