More and more, the bulk of clients’ net worth lies in individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401(k)s, pension plans and insurance products. The law deems such assets “non-probate,” because properly completing beneficiary designations on these assets causes them to pass to the beneficiary listed on the account, not with the individual’s probate estate. Lawyers must ensure their clients properly draft beneficiary designations for non-probate assets, as they impact not only a client’s tax bill but a client’s estate plan.
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