You have done your planning to make an IRA contribution or Roth IRA conversion and visit your broker to complete the paperwork to make the magic happen. You're given a myriad of documents to complete to set the account up, provide funding details and selecting a beneficiary. You start to gather your things to leave and then you're handed a three page document that appears to be a lot of "boiler plate" language and your broker tells you that no signature is required. You may not be aware that this document is the contract between you and your custodian and it lays out all of the rules you have agreed to follow. Much like a qualified retirement plan, the document governs everything.
Federal tax law gives you the structure to make the choices available to IRA accounts, but every IRA custodian does not need to provide you all of those choices. While many of us will not look at the IRA document/contract, or even read it, there are some critical items you should look for in this agreement.
In many cases these issues can be managed when the problem is known. It is the unknown event that throws all of your good planning out the window. For help with IRA planning and guidance, contact us in one of our many locations.