5060 1

This is a heads up for anyone deciding on how to designate beneficiaries of an IRA based on advice from an IRA custodian call-center employee.

When you call your IRA custodian, checking your account balance or requesting paperwork for a transaction is straightforward, but designating beneficiaries, paying an IRA to a trust, or leaving someone other than your spouse your IRA is an entirely different matter.

Even if the service from your IRA custodian receives high ratings from consumers, calling in with a question about the disposition of an IRA upon your death may be placing faith in the advice of a recent college graduate new to financial and tax planning. Relying on advice from a custodian call center employee about your IRA beneficiary designations is a gamble unless you’re an expert on IRAs. Please also keep in mind: