In order to avoid huge headaches for your heirs, it is important that you pay attention to whom you name as your IRA beneficiary. It is important to sync what is on your beneficiary designation form with information that is spelled out in your estate documents. What is on a beneficiary designation trumps what is in your will. Be careful to make tax efficient use of your IRA assets and not to make minor children or your estate beneficiary of an IRA.

Naming a charity as the beneficiary of your IRA is a good idea. The charity will receive the assets tax free and your estate will benefit from a charitable deduction.