A:

If the IRA owner dies after the required beginning date (RBD) and his/her beneficiary is his/her spouse, the spouse beneficiary may either:

  1. Begin death distributions by Dec 31 of the year following the year the IRA owner dies. In this case, the distributions must be calculated using the longer of the deceased's remaining life expectancy or the spouse's life expectancy. If the surviving spouse's life expectancy is being used, it must be determined on a recalculated basis. In other words, the tables must be visited each year to determine the factor, a life expectancy figure found in the IRS life expectancy tables. If the deceased's life expectancy is being used, it must be determined on a non-recalculated basis or in the year of death, subtracting one from the factor for each subsequent year.
  2. Treat the IRA has his/her own and do not begin required minimum distribution (RMD) amounts until he/she reaches her RBD.

The spouse beneficiary options apply only if the spouse is the sole primary beneficiary of the IRA. If the spouse is one of several primary beneficiaries, then he/she may be subject to the non-spouse beneficiary options should he/she choose to keep the assets in an inherited IRA. However, he/she may distribute and roll over his/her portion of the assets to his/her own IRA and need not begin distributions until his/her RBD.

(For more on RMDs, check out Avoiding RMD Pitfalls, IRS Modifies Separate Accounting Rules as well as Inherited Retirement Plan Assets – Part 1 and Inherited Retirement Plan Assets – Part 2.)

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS

  1. When can benefits be received from a provident fund?

    Find out when participants in provident funds can begin receiving benefits, including how funds can be used to finance important ...
  2. Is Social Security Income a perpetuity?

    Find out why Social Security income is not classified as a perpetuity, including what constitutes a perpetuity and the basics ...
  3. What types of investments are allowed in a provident fund?

    Read about the types of investments allowed in various provident funds around the world, including the Indian, Malaysian ...
  4. How does a provident fund compare to U.S. Social Security?

    Find out how provident funds compare to the U.S. Social Security program, including examples of income limits and contribution ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Strike Width

    The difference between the strike price of an option and the ...
  2. Inverse Transaction

    A transaction that can cancel out a forward contract that has ...
  3. Reference Equity

    The underlying equity that an investor is seeking price movement ...
  4. See-Through Trust

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

    The maximum and minimum values used to indicate where the price ...
  6. Settlor

    The entity that establishes a trust. The settlor also goes by ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Does it Make Sense to Have an MLP in ...

  2. Entrepreneurship

    MLPs: How They Are Taxed

  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Ways You Can Invest In Gold Without ...

  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How To Short Amazon Stock

  5. Retirement

    Top Tips for Rebalancing 401(k) Assets

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!