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Post-Mortem Planning for Botched Beneficiary Designations

Recent private letter rulings highlight some opportunities.

It’s an all too common occurrence: During the administration of a decedent’s estate, it becomes apparent that the decedent completed a beneficiary designation on a sizable retirement plan in a mistaken or totally misguided fashion. In many of these instances, the decedent named a trust as the beneficiary of the plan. In other instances, the decedent named no beneficiary at all. While the realization of a botched beneficiary designation is most certainly unwelcome, all hope isn’t lost. 


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