Some of your assets will not be transferred to beneficiaries based on the instructions in your will. This includes things like: 

  • Retirement accounts (401K, 403b, 457, pension, IRA)
  • Life insurance
  • Annuities
  • Transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) accounts. 

For these assets, you need to provide instructions directly to the financial institution.

Contact the financial institution that manages each account to request the correct form or method to update your beneficiaries. For example, some may require that you fill out a specific form while others may permit this change to be made online.

If you have a trust, you can name the trust as the beneficiary on the accounts listed above. There are pros and cons to doing this that we will be happy to discuss with you while creating your customized plan!

If you would like help creating an Estate Plan, please reach out to Mathews Law, PLLC by setting up your free consultation here or calling 866.980.0838.

If you are an existing client and have a specific question, please email us at

Published by Lisa Mathews

Will and Trust Lawyer in Northern Virginia