Your Roth IRA will still exist even after death. It’s important to ensure that you specify where you want your money to go. A beneficiary can be a person, group of people, or charity of your choosing. There are two levels of beneficiaries:
Your beneficiary will have the option of taking a lump-sum distribution or receiving payments from the account over a number of years (subject to the required minimum distribution rules that apply to beneficiaries). If you choose to have multiple beneficiaries, you assign a portion of your assets to go to each one. For each beneficiary level, the amount you designate must total 100%. If you are married and wish to designate someone other than your spouse as a primary beneficiary, you must have your spouse consent to that designation by signing the form and having a notary witness his/her signature.
Please note: The beneficiaries you choose must survive you in order to be entitled to your Roth IRA assets. If a beneficiary dies before you, the assets will be redistributed proportionately to the other beneficiaries listed. If you don’t designate a beneficiary, the assets will go to your spouse, if you are married. If you are not married at the time of your death, the assets will go to your estate.
Setting up beneficiaries is extremely important and only takes a few minutes. You’ll need their name, address, social security number and birth date or date of trust, if your beneficiary is a Trust.Set Beneficiary
You can also set a beneficiary by filling out the paper form.
Beneficiary designations can be changed at any time and should be reevaluated after important life events like marriage, children, or divorce.