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What impact do the beneficiary designations on my life insurance policies, annuities, and retirement accounts have on my estate plan?

The designation of beneficiaries on life insurance policies, annuities and IRAs tell the story of where those assets are going to go when you’re passing. In an Individual Retirement Account, for example, if the beneficiary is your spouse, then they’re going to inherit that. If the life insurance policy has a child as the beneficiary, that’s going to direct that asset. Your estate plan is not going to control those assets upon your passing. The beneficiary designation is the ultimate decider then of where those assets go when you pass away.