Should I be listing my brokerage firm as a primary beneficiary?

My broker had me designate his firm as the primary beneficiary to my variable annuity account. I was told that upon death, a payment would be made to an IRA account that my spouse is the primary beneficiary of, as opposed to a direct payment to her. The firm is claiming that this is necessary because they are the custodians of my account. Everything I have read says to never list your brokerage house as the primary beneficiary for anything. Is my broker correct and is this a normal practice? Or should I be looking for another broker?

Estate Planning, Annuities, IRAs
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July 2017
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Hello....thank you for writing to us.  I concur with the thoughts of my colleagues who are saying that this is not standard practice. I wanted to add that the first thing to do before you take any of the actions listed is to go in electronically if possible or in person if necessary and change the beneficiary to your own loved ones.  Please do today or as soon as possible. Then print out the change or have the broker hand you the print out and read it to make sure that the beneficiary has indeed be changed. Then you can start on the actions recommended here.  The first item of business, though, is to get that changed in case something happens to you. Please let us know what happens if you have a chance...I know we are all worried about this.  Best wishes to you.

July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017