Should I name my revocable living trust as beneficiary of my IRA? 

If you have created a revocable living trust, you can name the trust as the beneficiary of your Individual Retirement Account. However, it may make more sense to use the trust only as a secondary, or "back-up," beneficiary-especially if you are married.

In many cases, it is preferable to name a spouse or some other designated beneficiary as the primary beneficiary of your IRA. You can then name your Revocable Living Trust as the contingent, or secondary, beneficiary. By using this succession of beneficiaries for your IRA, your spouse will have the spousal elections that are available upon the death of the IRA owner. If the owner and spousal beneficiary are killed in a common accident, then the revocable living trust can serve as a receptacle for the IRA proceeds.  In other words, naming your spouse or other beneficiary as heir to your IRA can provide the beneficiary with more flexibility in choosing how the account's assets will be used after you're are gone.

© Alex J. Llorente  2012