Estate Planning, Power of Attorney, Probate, Real Estate, Trusts, Wills

Beneficiary Designations are Extremely Important

My very first client made a $5,000,000 mistake. And he could have prevented the mistake with a 10 minute phone call.

Let me explain.

In Texas (and pretty much everywhere else), an IRA account is distributed to the people on the account’s beneficiary designation once the owner passes away.

A will cannot determine what happens to an IRA. A trust can’t either.

Only a beneficiary designation on the account.

My client married five different women in his life. He had five children from the first wife.

He told the fifth wife, the five children, and his attorneys that the $5,000,000 would be split five ways when he died. One million dollars to each of his kids.

They all agreed. The attorneys even put his wishes in the trust documents.

But they never looked at the beneficiary designation on the account. It was still in the fifth wife’s name.

The man passes away, and I had the distinct displeasure to tell the children that their step-mom was not returning phone calls and legally had the right to run away with that $5,000,000.

All for the want of a ten-minute phone call to change the beneficiary designation on the IRA account.

And that’s why, folks, you should have an attorney who will look at your beneficiary designations.

And that’s also why you should review your estate plan annually to make sure it’s up to date.

Thankfully, this lesson is the exact reason why Legion Law offers free annual reviews to clients.

Call today to make sure you don’t have a $5,000,000 mistake waiting to surprise your children.

It wouldn’t be the Legion Law Letter without offering information on how to get in touch with your estate planning and probate attorney. Feel free to schedule a meeting at for any questions, concerns, or issues you need resolved.


Derek Christensen

Founder of Legion Law, PLLC