Does my retirement plan need to be titled in the name of my trust?
No, assets such as an IRA or 401(k), do not need to be titled in the name of your Trust and, in fact, they cannot be. These assets must be held in your individual name, but you may need to change the beneficiary designation on them. The first beneficiary should be your spouse or another adult beneficiary, but in certain circumstances the contingent beneficiary should be your Trust. You want the contingent beneficiary to be your Trust if your beneficiaries are minor children or if there are several beneficiaries. This will ensure the assets will transfer to your spouse upon your death and, if your spouse should die before you, the assets will be distributed as you have set forth in your Trust. However, if the beneficiaries of your Trust are adults and the assets are split equally among them, you may name them as the contingent beneficiaries instead of naming the Trust. It is easier to transfer retirement benefits outside of the Trust, but oftentimes, it is necessary that the assets be distributed to the Trust.