Avoid Unjustly Feeding the Taxman: Making an Informed Decision for Beneficiary Designation Under the SECURE Act

June 2022

By Richard R. Marsh, as published in USLAW Magazine (Summer 2022)

At the end of 2021, Americans held nearly 40 trillion dollars in retirement assets, a significant portion of which are held in tax-deferred accounts, such as IRAs and 401Ks. If you are holding assets in such accounts, then without proper planning, those accounts could take a larger than required hit from the taxman upon your passing. You can minimize such risk by understanding how a beneficiary designation, or lack thereof, can affect the income tax payable upon your death and acting accordingly. The choice of whom to choose as a beneficiary can be complicated, and this article intends to provide a level of understanding to permit you to start to work through the process. And perhaps more importantly, to stress the need to begin such a process.

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