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)

  1. Are 401(k) contributions tax deductible?

    All contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s reduce taxable income, which lowers the total taxes owed. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are 401(k) rollovers taxable?

    401(k) rollovers are generally not taxable as long as the money goes into another qualifying plan, an individual retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are catch-up contributions included in the 415 limit?

    Unlike regular employee deferrals, catch-up contributions are not included in the 415 limit. While there is an annual limit ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can catch-up contributions be matched?

    Depending on the terms of your plan, catch-up contributions you make to 401(k)s or other qualified retirement savings plans ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are catch-up contributions included in actual deferral percentage (ADP) testing?

    Though the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) carefully scrutinizes the contributions of highly compensated employees (HCEs) ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Who offers 401(k) plans?

    401(k) plans are one of the most common retirement plans available. A 401(k) plan must be offered by a business. These plans ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Using Your IRA to Invest in Property

    Explain how to use an IRA account to buy investment property.
  2. Retirement

    How a 401(k) Works After Retirement

    Find out how your 401(k) works after you retire, including when you are required to begin taking distributions and the tax impact of your withdrawals.
  3. Retirement

    Read This Before You Retire in the Philippines

    The Philippines has a warm climate, a low cost of living and plenty of people who speak English. What to do next if you think you want to retire there.
  4. Insurance

    How Life Insurance Works in a Divorce

    Learn the implications of life insurance in a divorce situation, and identify the steps you should take to ensure your policies are sorted out post-divorce.
  5. Retirement

    4 Books Every Retiree Should Read

    Learn more about the current financial situations retirees are facing and discover four books that every prospective and current retiree must read.
  6. Retirement

    Are Fees Depleting Your Retirement Savings?  

    Each retirement account will have a fee associated with it. The key is to lower these fees as much as possible to maximize your return.
  7. Retirement

    Retirement Tips for Doctors

    Learn five tips that can help physicians get back on schedule in terms of making financial preparations they need to retire.
  8. Investing Basics

    Do You Need More Than One Financial Advisor?

    Using more than one financial advisor for money management has its pros and cons.
  9. Insurance

    Cashing in Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  10. Retirement

    Is Netflix Stock Suitable for Your IRA or Roth IRA?

    Learn about the risks of Netflix's business plan and long-term corporate strategy, and see if the stock's risk/reward profile warrants inclusion in an IRA.
  1. Taxes

    An involuntary fee levied on corporations or individuals that ...
  2. Fiduciary

    A fiduciary is a person who acts on behalf of another person, ...
  3. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. ...
  4. Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

    A Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract (QLAC) is a deferred annuity ...
  5. Wealth Management

    A high-level professional service that combines financial/investment ...
  6. See-Through Trust

    A trust that is treated as the beneficiary of an individual retirement ...

You May Also Like

Trading Center