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Self Directed IRA Beneficiaries Information Form

» Download Form: Beneficiary Succession Plan

Video Highlights

[0:11] Here’s what you need to do to prepare your loved ones for IRA beneficiary questions.

[0:47] Sunwest Trust now provides a form providing crucial information to your beneficiaries!

[1:13] Learn how to designate the beneficiary of an IRA.

[1:53] What if you want to use your own form?

[2:11] Find out what information you should provide for your IRA beneficiary planning.

[2:41] Here is the absolute minimum your beneficiary needs to know!

[3:40] How can this information help your beneficiaries?

[4:10] See why this inherited IRA form is so important!

[4:29] What do we do with your information?

[5:00] Find out how often you should update your information.

[5:26] Take a look at what’s coming up next!

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Self Directed IRA Beneficiaries Information Form

This week, we are wrapping up our series on Taking Care of Your Loved Ones, we’ve reviewed the steps to take if you are inheriting an IRA and we’ve discussed the importance of choosing your beneficiaries wisely. We’ve also spoke about the importance of discussing the goals you’ve set for your IRA with your beneficiary.

Today, we’re going to roll out a new service to our customers. They say necessity breeds ingenuity and today it is especially true. Throughout this series, we’ve said over and over that with a self directed IRA, it is important to inform your beneficiaries of what’s to come; what assets they’re going to own, how to deal with the assets, when to sell, how to sell, who to sell to, and what the fair market value of the assets are. This is a lot of information to understand and retain.

Instead of making your beneficiaries memorize every bit of information, we’ve developed a form that you can fill out with personal information about your IRA that will be released to your beneficiaries once you’ve passed away and the inherited IRA has been transferred to the beneficiary. The beneficiary will not have access to this information until the accountholder requests it, or until the accountholder has died and the IRA has subsequently been transferred to the beneficiary.

This means you can write out step by step instructions to your beneficiaries, Sunwest Trust will scan and save a copy on our server, and will then release the Investment Information Form to the beneficiary once the account has been transferred into an inherited IRA.

The form is straightforward; the more information we have, the less chance of making an error. This is the minimum information required:

  • Account number
  • Name of the current accountholder
  • Name of the account beneficiary
  • Beneficiary’s birthday (identity verification purposes only)
  • Beneficiary’s social security number (identity verification purposes only)

Note: You can either submit one Investment Information form for all your beneficiaries, or you can split them by each beneficiary in order to keep certain asset instructions with corresponding beneficiaries. This is for the accountholder and the beneficiaries’ security.

Other sections of the Investment Information Form are:

The types of investment the IRA holds: Are you holding precious metals, real estate, an LLC, cattle, etc.? Whatever the assets are, be specific. Don’t leave any room for guess work. Guessing can cause a lot of headaches down the road.

Financial/Broker advisor: Did you work with someone that helped to put the deal together? Maybe it’s a broker or an investment sponsor that has good insight on the investment.

Contact information for investment: If you worked with a broker, then you can put their email, phone number, and address of their office. Anything that will give your beneficiaries a step in the right direction. At the very minimum, your beneficiary would know who to contact even if they don’t understand the ins and outs of the investment.

If an LLC, where the bank account is held: In this section, you can leave your beneficiary with bank accounts, phone numbers, pin numbers, and other asset holding information. Anything that will help your beneficiaries to access their assets without being put through the ringer.

Precious metals storage information: Here you can add the depository that is holding your precious metals, the amount being held, as well as the contact information of the depository.

If Real Estate, the property’s address and other relevant information: Leave as much information as you can. If you have a property manager, add a contact number. If you have multiple pieces of real estate, list them all.

Lastly, we left a blank at the bottom for any other information that will assist your beneficiary: In this last section, you can add any information that may help aid your beneficiary when the IRA becomes theirs.

Investment Information for your IRA Beneficiaries

If you don’t have this sheet, you can create your own document. However, we need the following information from you:

  • Name of current accountholder
  • Account number with Sunwest Trust
  • Beneficiaries’ name(s)
  • Beneficiaries’ date(s) of birth
  • Beneficiaries’ Social Security Number (s)
  • It needs to be signed by the current accountholder.

Think of this form as a treasure map for your beneficiaries to follow to find the treasure you have left behind for them. The more information that you put on the map, the easier it will be for your beneficiary to find where X marks the spot.


We’re going to wrap this series of videos about taking care of your loved ones. One of the things that came from this series and from talking to customers is the idea that, number one, you need to tell your beneficiary that they are the beneficiary of your IRA. Maybe (I talked about it in previous videos) you may need to sit down and talk to them and let them know what that means, the type of assets you have in your IRA, especially since it’s a self-directed IRA and these are non-traditional assets. Explain that to them that they’re the beneficiary, what that means, as well as some idea of what’s in the account.

Going along those lines, we came up with the idea to create a form that we will put in your file so that when your beneficiaries inherit the account, we can provide them with this information, and that will give them some idea of where they go and what they do with the investments.

We’ve created this form and it’ll be on the screen; it’s titled, “Investment Information.” You would put your account number, your name, and the beneficiary’s name that you want us to release this information to. You might even say all beneficiaries if you have more than one listed.

We also would like the beneficiary’s date of birth and Social Security number. Now, the reason for those two things is if the beneficiary calls us and lets us know that now they’ve inherited the account, we have a way to determine that they are, indeed, the designated person that we’re talking to. We might say, “What’s your date of birth? What are the last four digits of your Social Security number?”

We may use some of the security questions that you’ve given us so that we can verify that we know exactly who we’re talking to.

You don’t have to necessarily use this form, but it’s very important that we have that information. Again, the account number in Sunrise Trust, the name of the account holder, your name as the beneficiary, and your date of birth and Social Security number. This is because we’ll match the information with what we already have on the beneficiary forms.

What we’ve put here is just investment information. What type of investment does your IRA hold? Are you holding real estate? Are you holding membership units and an LLC? Are you holding notes?

We have another section where you would put a financial broker or adviser; there, you might put the name of the person that you worked with when you purchased that investment. Maybe it’s a broker, maybe it’s an investment sponsor or something else entirely. Put their name and then down below that put their contact information.

At a minimum, if your beneficiary did not know exactly what this investment was, they would know who to contact in order to find out what it was, and how it works, and what their options are with it. They can go on from there.

The next thing we have is, let’s say you have a single-member IRA LLC, so we also have a space there where you can put, “Where’s the LLC bank account held?” “What’s the phone number for the bank?” Maybe there’s a contact that you deal with at the bank and maybe list other LLC assets. The LLC might own real estate, it might own some gold, it’s held at safety deposit box at the bank, various things like that.

If you have [precious metals] that are held at the depository, you could put that information here. We might know that, but we wouldn’t if it’s in an LLC. We would know that if we’re holding the gold directly in your IRA account.

This is just a great form for you to be able to list all of the things that you have in your account, and give your beneficiaries a head start on where to look, who to talk to, and how to figure out what to do with these assets after your death.

Somebody my age right now, and I have an account and I have beneficiaries. My wife and then my boys are beneficiaries. She might not think it’s important, as  I’m in good health; everything’s fine. You just never know what might happen, and just think about your loved ones who are going to be those beneficiaries, and how much easier this would be for them.

This is the form. You can use this form, which is on our website, or you can create your own form as long as you have this important information on it. We will scan that into your file, and we will have that and at the bottom of this form, it says, “This authorizes Sunrise Trust to release this information to your beneficiary.” So once your beneficiary inherits that account, we can release this information to them, and that will, at least, give them a step-ahead on where to go and where to start looking for that.

So we’re excited about this service. I think it will be a great thing, and I think it’s one of those things that we hope we don’t have to use for a long time. However, if you do, it’ll really be valuable for your beneficiaries.

I would also plan on looking at this information once a year. I know I said in another video that maybe every year when you get your market value request from us, you step back and when you’re redoing the market values, you may be thinking about changing who they might contact. Maybe things have changed; you would need to change that. You can send us a new form with a new date on it, and we can then provide that to your beneficiary.

Watch our videos next month. We’ll be focusing on getting ready for tax time; we’re looking forward to giving you some great information about that. We look forward to talking to you again next Tuesday at 2:00.

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Terry White

About Terry White

I started my business career after getting my degree in Accounting from the University of New Mexico in 1983. My first job was as a controller for a local title company, and in 1987 I started First Financial Escrow, Inc. Over the years I played a part in several startup companies including First Financial Equities, Inc., First Financial Trust, Inc., First Financial Marketing, Inc. and Asset Ventures, Inc. In 1997 First Financial Escrow, Inc. was able to purchase the escrow accounts from Sunwest Bank and changed its name to Sunwest Escrow. As the market changes, Sunwest has grown and changed along with it. Besides my wife, Sheila, we have three boys, two daughters-in-law, one grandson, another grandson on the way and a future daughter-in-law. Sunwest is my passion, and I enjoy coming to work every day to see what will happen next. I enjoy fly fishing, spending time in Colorado, biking and watching my boys play soccer.