My spouse is the primary beneficiary of my IRA. I also have a contingent beneficiary. Can my spouse still transfer my IRA assets tax-free to her own IRA?

By Denise Appleby AAA
A:

A spouse who is the sole primary beneficiary of an IRA can always treat the IRA as his or her own. The contingent beneficiary on an IRA is never taken into consideration unless the primary beneficiary predeceases the IRA owner, or the primary beneficiary disclaims the assets.

If the spouse is not the sole primary beneficiary, he or she can transfer the assets to an inherited/beneficiary IRA and later roll over the amount to his or her own IRA.

For more information, read Who Is The Beneficiary Of Your Account?, Problematic Beneficiary Designations - Part 1 and Disclaiming Inherited Plan Assets.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS

  1. What does U.S. law say about contingent beneficiaries?

    Learn about regulations the United States has on the naming of contingent beneficiaries, the types of contingencies that ...
  2. Places where I can open an IRA Account?

    Open an IRA through brokerage firms, mutual funds, banks and other major financial institutions, or through large Internet ...
  3. How do I change my contingent beneficiary?

    Learn what life insurance companies and retirement plan accounts require from you to change your contingent beneficiary designations.
  4. What kinds of assets can be included in a revocable trust?

    Understand what types of assets can be included in a revocable trust, and why some asset types are excluded from this estate ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Contingent Beneficiary

    1. A beneficiary specified by an insurance contract holder who ...
  2. Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

    A tax-efficient retirement savings account available in Great ...
  3. Elder Care

    Elder care, sometimes called elderly care, refers to services ...
  4. Gold IRA

    Definition of Gold IRA
  5. Eligible Transfer

    An IRS-allowed movement of assets into or out of an individual ...
  6. Leveraged Benefits

    The use – by a business owner or professional practitioner – ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Trading Strategies

    Top 7 Roth IRA Stocks for 2015

  2. Professionals

    Are Longevity Annuities in 401(k)s a ...

  3. Professionals

    Why Retirement Advice Is Better But ...

  4. Professionals

    Coming Soon: Private Equity In 401(k) ...

  5. Professionals

    Ways To Cut 401(k) Expenses

Trading Center