Adding a Beneficiary to Your Account Menu
Why designate a beneficiary?
Designating a beneficiary on an account can be a simple way to define how you wish for your assets to be transferred after your death.
Account owners should review their beneficiary information regularly or work with their estate planner or advisor to ensure that their assets are set up to transfer the way they are intended.
Primary and secondary beneficiaries
There are no limits to the number of beneficiaries on an account, and generally, there are two types.
There are two main types of beneficiary designations:
Non–lineal descendants designation
If you have multiple beneficiaries on an account and one of them predeceases you, their share of the assets will be split pro rata across your remaining designated beneficiaries. Accounts will default to this designation unless otherwise specified.
Lineal descendants per stirpes designation
If any beneficiary predeceases you, their share of the assets generally passes to his or her heirs and not to the other beneficiaries listed.
The steps needed for an account owner to designate a beneficiary can differ based on the type of account that is held.
Adding a beneficiary designation—nonretirement accounts
If you hold an individual or joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) account, you may add beneficiary information to your account. Designations will differ based on the account type, as follows:
To add or update beneficiaries on your individual or JTWROS account, complete the Designation of Transfer on Death (TOD) Beneficiary form. Note that all account owners must sign the form.
Adding a beneficiary designation—retirement accounts
Designating beneficiaries on individual retirement accounts (IRAs) not only helps ensure that assets transfer more easily after death but may also provide the beneficiary the flexibility to keep the assets in a tax-advantaged beneficiary IRA instead of being distributed to the estate.
To add or update beneficiaries on your Roth or traditional IRA, complete the IRA Designation of Beneficiary form.
Mail completed forms to:
Wells Fargo Funds
P.O. Box 219967
Kansas City, MO 64121-9967