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Understanding the Complications of Annuities in An Estate Plan

Do you have an annuity? Is this a financial tool you created for your own future but is something that was ultimately moved out of your possession/estate and into the management of a trust? Read on to learn more about key issues that emerge with trusts owned by annuities. 

If you have placed an annuity inside a trust, this can get very confusing regarding the beneficiary designation. You should have a working knowledge of the type of annuity you have selected and how these individual annuities function. Recognize at first that not all annuities are the same.

One of the most important distinction of different types of products is whether or not the annuity has been funded with after tax or pre-taxed dollars. This is basically asking whether or not this is an investment account or a retirement account. An annuity could be part of your IRA investments and any annuity that has been funded with pre-taxed retirement dollars is referred to as a qualified annuity.

With a qualified annuity, ownership should most likely not be transferred to the trust itself. If an annuity is non-qualified; meaning that it has been funded with after tax dollars, there is a strong probability that the annuity should be funded into a trust enabling a successor trustee to exercise control over the annuity in addition to other trust assets. To ensure this is the right course of action for you, schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer.


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