Inherited IRA Beneficiary Options and Withdrawal Rules

Inherited IRA Rules For Beneficiaries

It is never easy to lose a loved one. When a loved one dies, financial issues are often a part of the grieving process.

Executing the will is one of the most common financial concerns. It also involves reviewing other aspects of their inheritance plan. Complex rules and tax implications can make it difficult for listed beneficiaries to inherit assets like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA).

What is an Inherited IRA and How Does It Work?

An inherited IRA, also known as a beneficiary IRA or a beneficiary IRA (or IRA), is an account that opens when someone inherits an IRA from the original owner. A spouse, a relative, an estate, trust, etc. could be the beneficiary.

What is an Inherited IRA?

An inherited IRA can be opened for any type of IRA. This applies to traditional and Roth IRAs. It also includes rollover IRAs. SEP-IRAs, simple IRAs, and rollover IRAs. Employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k), 403(b), and other plans can be opened as inherited IRAs.

Generally, assets in an IRA account that have been owned by the owner must be transferred to a new IRA named for the beneficiary when the owner dies. This is called an inherited IRA. You cannot make additional contributions to an inherited IRA.

Regardless of the type of IRA being inherited, inherited IRAs can be treated in the same manner. The tax treatment of inherited IRAs depends on the type of IRA it was originally (e.g. was it funded with pretax or posttax dollars). ).

The IRS offers detailed guidance for inherited IRA beneficiaries. To report an inherited IRA or its distributions to the IRS, you must file IRS Forms 5498 and 1099-R.

What should you do with an inherited IRA?

You may feel the instinct to collect an inherited IRA's funds by simply taking a lump-sum distribution if you are a beneficiary. This could increase your taxable income and lead to tax-deferred growth.

Depending on whether the IRA was owned by a spouse or not, and if it is a Roth or traditional IRA, there may be different inheritance rules. As every case is different, it's a good idea for you to talk about inherited IRAs with a fiduciary advisor.

Traditional IRA: Spouse Inherited Guidelines

You can inherit the traditional IRA of your spouse by transferring spousal ownership. By naming yourself the owner of the IRA, you can treat it as if it were your own retirement account.

You can rollover the deceased's IRA as the beneficiary into a qualified employer, qualified annuity, tax-sheltered and/or deferred compensation plan of a local or state government, such as a 457(b) or qualified plan. Rolling over the deceased's IRA to your own qualified retirement plan has the advantage of allowing you to defer required minimum distributions (RMDs), of funds in a traditional IRA up until 72. You will be subject to a 10% penalty if you take a distribution or roll the funds over into a qualified plan.

The IRS states that if a spouse dies, a distribution from that spouse's IRA can be rolled into the IRA of the surviving spouse. However, the distribution must not be required. This applies regardless of whether the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of the IRA.

Roth IRA: Spouse Inherited Guidelines

You can also inherit the Roth IRA of your spouse by a spousal gift. You can access the money at any time. However, the earnings are generally taxable until you reach age 60 1/2 and complete the five-year holding period. This option is only available if the IRA's sole beneficiary is you.

You can open an inherited Roth IRA, using either the life expectancy or 10-year methods. RMDs are mandatory for the first. You can however postpone distributions to the second option:

  • The 72nd birthday of your spouse
  • The year ending with the death of your spouse

The money can be used at any time up to the end of the tenth anniversary following the death of your spouse. All the money must then be distributed. The 10-year method allows distributions to be made within the five-year period provided the holding period is met. You will not be subject to the 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

The final option is to have the Roth IRA distributed in its entirety by way of a lump-sum distribution. This option doesn't require you to establish an Inherited IRA and all assets will immediately be distributed. If the account was less five years old at the time of your spouse's death, earnings will be taxed.

Traditional IRA: Non-Spousal Inherited Guidelines

If your spouse inherits a traditional IRA, you are eligible to be a designated beneficiary. Your withdrawal options will depend on the age of the deceased.

If the deceased person was less than 72 years old at the time of their death, you have two options for withdrawing your funds:

  • Use the life expectancy method to open an inherited IRA
  • Use the 10-year method to open an inherited IRA
  • You can take a lump sum distribution

Your withdrawal options are limited if the deceased was aged 72 or older

  • Open an inherited IRA by using the life expectancy method
  • Take a lump-sum distribution

You must be:

  • A minor child of the account holder who has died
  • Chronically ill or disabled
  • The deceased beneficiary must not be more than 10 years older than him.

Roth IRA: Non-Spousal Inherited Guidelines

If your spouse inherits a Roth IRA, and you are eligible to be a designated beneficiary, you may open an inherited IRA by using either the life expectancy or 10-year methods.

Inherited IRAs for non-spouse beneficiaries, designated beneficiaries

The SECURE ACT contained new guidelines for nonspouse beneficiaries. While non-spouse beneficiaries may be able to take a lump sum distribution as well, this could lead to more taxable income, as we have already noted.

Non-spouses cannot transfer money from the deceased IRA to their own retirement accounts or make contributions to the deceased IRA, unlike spousal beneficiaries.

The SECURE ACT requires that IRAs inherited after 2019 must be distributed to non-spouse beneficiaries within 10 years of their original owners' death. This withdrawal rule may not apply to those who are permanently or chronically ill or younger than 10 years. The rule can also be applied to minor children who are the direct descendants of the deceased until they reach the age of majority in their state.

You should know that you don't have to distribute funds every year. As long as the total amount is distributed within 10years, there is no requirement. Failure to meet this 10-year deadline could result in a 50% penalty.

Depending on whether you inherit a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, you may be able to adjust the distribution timeline within the 10-year limit. To avoid taking out large sums in one year, it may be more beneficial for a traditional IRA to distribute each year. You may be subject to a higher tax rate if you take out a large amount at once. If you inherit a Roth IRA it might make sense to keep the funds in the Inherited IRA as long as possible. The Inherited IRA will allow the account to continue growing tax-free. You won't have to pay taxes on the Roth IRA funds.

Non-Designated Beneficiaries

An IRA can be passed on to a beneficiary, but not all beneficiaries must be listed. Most likely, the distribution method for inheritors through estates will follow the old rules before the SECURE Act.

Below is a list of actions that are most likely to be used for the distribution of assets in an IRA.

  • Give the inherited retirement account to someone else.
  • You can take a lump sum distribution.
  • If the account owner dies before the RMD age, distribute the assets within five year.

What is the tax treatment of an Inherited IRA?

Tax treatment for inherited IRAs will depend on the type and withdrawal method chosen, as well as the type and type of IRA the deceased owned. Before you decide how to proceed, we recommend that you consult your tax advisor or CPA. They will help you to understand the tax implications of your inheritance, and can set up a distribution schedule that avoids tax penalties.

Next steps

You can inherit an IRA as a beneficiary. It is important to understand your options and the possible outcomes. Consultation with a professional can help you avoid unpleasant surprises such as penalties or taxes.

These are some additional steps that you can take in order to ensure your financial health when you inherit an IRA.

  1. Personal Capital's financial tools are free to sign up for. These include the Retirement Planner – a sophisticated retirement planner that will show you how your inherited IRA affects your retirement readiness. You can also track your net worth and analyze your portfolio to spot hidden fees.
  2. Find a fiduciary advisor to help you navigate the rules surrounding your inherited IRA.

Personal Capital: Get started

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put gold in my IRA?

Yes! You can add gold into your retirement plan. Gold is an excellent investment because it doesn't lose value over time. It also protects you against inflation. It doesn't come with taxes.

It's important to understand the differences between gold and other investments before investing in it. You can't buy shares in companies that make gold unlike bonds or stocks. They are also not available for sale.

Instead, you must convert your gold to cash. This means that you must get rid of your gold. You cannot keep it.

This makes gold an investment that is different from other investments. Like other investments, you can always dispose of them later. This is not true for gold.

You can't even use your gold as collateral to get loans. For example, if you take out a mortgage, you may give up some of your gold to cover the loan.

So what does this mean? It's not possible to keep your gold for ever. You'll have to turn it into cash at some point.

But there's no reason to worry about that now. All you have to do is open an IRA account. Then you can invest your money in gold.

How Much of Your IRA Should Include Precious Metals?

Protecting yourself from inflation is best done by investing in precious metals such silver and gold. It's more than just an investment in retirement. It also prepares you for any economic downturn.

Gold and silver prices have increased significantly over the past few years, but they are still considered safe investments because they don't fluctuate as much as stocks do. These materials are in constant demand.

Predictable and stable prices for gold and silver are common. They are more stable when the economy is growing than they are during recessions. This makes them great money-savers and long-term investments.

Your total portfolio should be 10 percent in precious metals. If you wish to diversify further, this percentage could be higher.

Is it a good idea to open a Precious Metal IRA

The answer depends on whether you have an investment goal and how much risk tolerance you are willing to take.

An account should be opened if you are planning to use the money in retirement.

This is because precious metals are more likely to appreciate in the future. You also get diversification benefits.

Additionally, silver and gold prices tend to move in tandem. They make a good choice for both assets and are a better investment.

If you're not planning on using your money for retirement or don't want to take any risks, you probably shouldn't invest in precious metal IRAs.

Are precious-metal IRAs a good option?

Answers will depend on the amount of risk you are willing and able to take in order for your IRA account to lose value. As long as your assets don't grow very rapidly, these are a good option. These may not be the best option if you are looking to save for retirement over many decades and invest in assets that will increase in value (e.g. gold). They also involve fees which could eat into any gains.

What are the different types of IRA?

There are three basic types of IRAs. There are three types of IRAs: Roth, Traditional, and SEP. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Each one will be discussed below.

Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

A traditional IRA allows for you to contribute pretax money to an account, where you can defer tax on contributions made now and earn interest. Once you retire, withdrawals from the account are tax-free.

Roth IRA

Roth IRAs allow you after-tax dollars to be deposited into an account. Any earnings will grow tax-free. Withdrawals from the account are also tax-free when you withdraw funds for retirement purposes.


This is similar in structure to a Roth IRA. However, employees will need to make additional contributions. These extra contributions are subject to income tax but any earnings will grow tax-deferred again. The entire amount can be converted to a Roth IRA if you are leaving the company.


  • SEP-IRA”Simplified employee pension” For self-employed people like independent contractors, freelancers, and small-business ownersSame tax rules as traditional IRASEP IRA contributions in 2022 are limited to 25% of compensation or $66,000, whichever is less4. (
  • Depending on your financial situation, most experts recommend you invest no more than 5% to 10% of your retirement funds in precious metals. (
  • The IRS also allows American Eagle coins, even though they do not meet gold's 99.5% purity standard. (
  • Silver must be 99.9% pure • (

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How To

How to Determine if a Gold IRA is Right for You

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) are the most popular type. IRAs may be obtained from financial planners or banks as well as mutual funds and banks. Individuals can contribute as much as $5,000 per year without any tax consequences. This amount can be deposited into any IRA, regardless your age. There are limits to how much money you may put into certain IRAs. For example, if your age is less than 591/2 years old, you can't contribute to a Roth IRA. For those who are younger than 50, contributions can only be made after you turn 70 1/2. Some employees may be eligible to match contributions from their employer.

There are two main types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth. The traditional IRA allows you the opportunity to invest in stocks and bonds as well as other investments. However, the Roth IRA only allows you to invest after-tax dollars. Roth IRA contributions are not subject to tax when they are made, but Roth IRA withdrawals are. Some people prefer to combine these two accounts. Each type is different. There are pros and con's to each. Before you decide which type of IRA is right for you, what are the pros and cons? Three things to bear in mind before you decide which type of IRA is best for you:

Traditional IRA Pros:

  • Companies have different options when it comes to contribution options
  • Employer match possible
  • It is possible to save more than $5.000 per person
  • Tax-deferred Growth until Withdrawal
  • You may have income restrictions
  • The maximum contribution limit is $5,500 per year ($6,500 if married and filing jointly)
  • The minimum investment is 1000
  • You must start receiving mandatory distributions after age 70 1/2
  • Must be at least five years old to open an IRA
  • Transfer assets between IRAs is not possible

Roth IRA pros

  • Contributions are free of taxes
  • Earnings grow without paying taxes
  • There are no minimum distribution requirements
  • The only options for investing are stocks, bonds, or mutual funds
  • There is no maximum contribution limit
  • There are no restrictions on the transfer of assets between IRAs
  • An IRA can only be opened by those 55 and older

You should be aware that not every company offers the same IRAs. For example, you might be able to choose between a Roth IRA (or a traditional one) from some companies. Some will let you combine them. There are different requirements for different types. Roth IRAs do not require a minimum amount of investment, while traditional IRAs are limited to a maximum investment of $1,000.

The Bottom Line

The key factor in choosing an IRA account is whether you wish to pay taxes now, or later. A traditional IRA is a good choice if you expect to retire within ten. A Roth IRA might be better suited to you. It doesn't matter what, it is a good idea consult a professional to discuss your retirement plans. It's important to have someone who is knowledgeable about the market and can suggest the best options for you.


By: Shannon Lynch, CFP®
Title: Inherited IRA Beneficiary Options and Withdrawal Rules
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 14:00:18 +0000

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