I inherited a Roth IRA. What are my options for taking distributions from the account?

By Denise Appleby AAA
A:

It depends.

Generally, if you are the spouse of the Roth IRA owner and you are the sole primary beneficiary, you may treat the Roth IRA as your own. This means that you would not need to take distributions unless you wanted to do so.


If you are not the surviving spouse of the Roth IRA owner, your options are as follows:

  • Distribute the entire balance by December 31 of the fifth year following the year the Roth IRA owner died.
  • Distribute the assets over your single life expectancy. Under this option, distributions must begin by December 31 of the year following the year the Roth IRA owner died.

To be sure, check the Roth IRA agreement and disclosure statement to determine your options, as the IRA custodian may limit your options. For instance, some custodians limit distribution options for beneficiaries to the five-year option.

For more insight, see Inherited Retirement Plan Assets - Part 1 and Part 2.

Question answered by Denise Appleby, CISP, CRC, CRPS, CRSP, APA

RELATED FAQS

  1. Can I purchase mutual funds for my IRA?

    Learn how to invest your IRA assets in mutual funds. Discover a few of the different types of mutual funds available for ...
  2. What are the best ways to plan for retirement?

    Learn the basic steps to creating a solid retirement plan that can support you and your family, and find out how to manage ...
  3. How do Pay As You Go pension plans work?

    Learn how pay-as-you-go pension plans are different than fully funded pension plans and why some government plans are running ...
  4. Who is eligible for a Teacher Retirement?

    Learn about the retirement option, the Teacher Retirement System, offered to teachers and other public school employees, ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Elder Care

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

    Definition of Gold IRA
  3. Eligible Transfer

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

    The use – by a business owner or professional practitioner – ...
  5. Peri-Retirement

    A term for the period of time leading up to actual retirement. ...
  6. MyRA

    A new tax-advantaged retirement account that President Barack ...
Related Articles
  1. Self-Employed? Top Plans For Retirement ...
    Retirement

    Self-Employed? Top Plans For Retirement ...

  2. Want To Know How To Save For Retirement? ...
    Retirement

    Want To Know How To Save For Retirement? ...

  3. 8 Essential Tips For Retirement Saving
    Investing Basics

    8 Essential Tips For Retirement Saving

  4. 'Donut Hole' Essentials For The Financial ...
    Investing Basics

    'Donut Hole' Essentials For The Financial ...

  5. Tips To Beat Inflation For Near-Retireees
    Investing News

    Tips To Beat Inflation For Near-Retireees

Trading Center