If our Will states that our 4 children divide estate equally but all of our IRA money and CDs leave all money to only 3 of them, which document takes priority?

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If our Will states that our 4 children divide estate equally but all of our IRA money and CDs leave all money to only 3 of them, which document takes priority?

The Will over the IRA and CDs or the other way around?

Asked on June 6, 2014 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the IRA and CD money have 3 of your children on the designation of beneficiary forms they are NOT assets of your estate.  They pass outside your estate.  In other words, the 4th child will not share and is out of luck.  If your intent is to have all your children share equally you need to add the 4th child to the IRA and CD designations asap. The only way those accounts would becomes part of the estate (and thus distributed via your Will) is if one of the beneficiaries dies before you do. You need to seek help and change the documents necessary for your intent: that all children share equally. Otherwise you are going to leave behind a family feud as well.  


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