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10 TIPS FOR RIFT SUCCESS





Johni's Hays Rift Project Update presentation at the January 2024 INWPGC meeting was incredibly informative.


10 Tips for Success to Receive Beneficiary Funds

  1. Follow up at least weekly or biweekly with the custodian for a status update.

  2. Keep copies of EVERYTHING sent – “they’ll lose it 8 times”

  3. Reject the custodian’s request for information not required of charities.

  4. Know when/where to use the new IRS Form W4-P.

  5. Use the RIFT Database - check every time your charity has a new claim due to recent updates [click on ADVOCATE, then Charitable Beneficiary IRA Distribution Resource Center]

  6. Know whose paper the death claim account is written on – work with them and avoid intermediaries if possible.

  7. Realize the custodian may not tell you the amount of the charity’s claim - push back - that's the charity's account now; also, ask if there are other charitable beneficiaries as they can work together to push back.

  8. Beware of income tax withholding issues – especially with qualified retirement plans. Fix it right away if the custodian withholds income tax - have them remedy it immediately.

  9. Know that IRAs can be processed differently than TOD accounts within the same custodian.

  10. Avoid asking for exceptions from anyone but their legal department - others (e.g., local reps, customer service staff, etc. have no authority to make the needed exceptions.)


If you are interested in joining the RIFT Advocates Bequest Working Group, please contact:

Karen Smedley, Duke University

Phone: 919-684-0367


Johni is available for specific questions and wants to hear about your successes.

Johni Hays, JD

Thompson & Associates, Executive Vice President

Phone: 515-988-8817




RIFT Project Update by Johni Hays
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