The ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts, 401k Plans, Stock Options and other “Qualified” Employee Benefits may not be changed. However, the benefits from such assets may be made payable to your trust by naming the trust as the primary beneficiary of such account or plan on your death. The beneficiary designation will need to be on the form approved by your plan administrator, but should use the name identified on your trust instrument. Alternatively, you could name your spouse as the primary beneficiary and the trust as the secondary beneficiary.
The problem with naming the trust as the beneficiary of such assets is that your beneficiaries may not be able to take advantage of certain deferral provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The loss of these deferral provisions must be weighed against funding the trust. The decision of whether to designate the trust as the beneficiary depends on a variety of factors including the type of asset, its value, its value relative to the size of your estate, and the terms of your trust.