Can IRAs be held jointly by spouses?
An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) cannot be held jointly by spouses. It can only be held in one individuals name, however, there may be a couple of possible solutions depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
Some custodians will allow you to appoint a power of attorney to varying degrees. For example, a limited power of attorney typically allows the individual you appoint to make trades within the account, however, withdrawals or transfers of any sort are not allowed. Full power of attorney typically works the same way but allows withdrawals and transfers as well. As you can imagine, it is incredibly important to carefully consider your specific scenario before appointing anyone with this power. You should also check with the brokerage firm that is the custodian of your IRA to see if they can accommodate this.
Additionally, as has been mentioned, you may designate your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your IRA. You should verify the rules in your state as some have special requirements for designating anyone other than your spouse as the primary beneficiary.
An individual retirement account (IRA) must be established and maintained on an individual basis. It cannot be held jointly. However, the IRA owner may designate his or her spouse (or any other party) as the beneficiary of the IRA. In some states, the spouse must provide written consent if the IRA owner designates any party other than the spouse as the beneficiary of the IRA.
Retirement accounts cannot be held jointly.
All retirement accounts, such as an IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc., are owned by a single person and must be registered to a natural person (not an entity).
It is common for spouses to be the primary beneficiary on each other’s retirement accounts or pension benefits. In fact, some states require spousal consent if you wish to name someone other than your spouse as the primary beneficiary for a retirement account.
Stephen Rischall, CRPC
An IRA cannot be held jointly with a spouse. It is an Individual Retirement Account.
The beneficiary section would be most relevant in this situation. If you want the simplest process for your IRA to go your spouse when you die then put your spouse as the Primary Beneficiary on your IRA.
The Beneficiary designation will supersede your trust or other legal document.
Because the convenience of the acronym, we forget what it stands for. In this case, IRA stands for “Individual Retirement Account”, or more technically, “Individual Retirement Arrangement”. Consequently, you know this cannot be a joint account.
However, don’t get discouraged by the title. Just because it’s not a joint account, you can still contribute on your spouse’s behalf if you make enough to cover for both annual contributions, and you can do so even your spouse is a stay-at-home mom.
Furthermore, if you are worried about the estate planning because of the benefit of a joint account, please don’t! IRA has more creditor protections as long as you remember to name primary and contingent beneficiaries.
Lastly, if one passes on, the survival spouse has more choices. He/she can either take the deceased spouse IRA and treated as his/her own, or as an inherited IRA. Of course, there are many more rules and intricacies related to that.