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. Is a Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) protected from creditors?

    Learn about how Canadian registered pension and retirement plans are protected from creditors under federal and provincial ...
  2. What are the restrictions for withdrawing my Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) ...

    Learn about Locked-in Retirement Funds and options available for receiving retirement income. Explore circumstances when ...
  3. What is the Superintendent's Register of Authorized Institutions?

    Learn who governs locked-in retirement accounts and other registered retirement savings plans in each Canadian province and ...
  4. How can I change my name on my Social Security card?

    Learn what documents are needed to change your name on your Social Security card whether you are a natural-born or foreign ...
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 ...
comments powered by Disqus
Related Articles
  1. Closing In On Retirement? Read These ...
    Investing Basics

    Closing In On Retirement? Read These ...

  2. Self-Directed IRA: The Right Move For ...
    Retirement

    Self-Directed IRA: The Right Move For ...

  3. 9 Reasons You May Never Retire
    Retirement

    9 Reasons You May Never Retire

  4. Top 10 Money Mistakes New Parents Make
    Personal Finance

    Top 10 Money Mistakes New Parents Make

  5. Top Tips For Winning New Clients
    Investing News

    Top Tips For Winning New Clients

Trading Center