IRA trust beneficiary

Trust as IRA Beneficiary – A Potentially Catastrophic Problem

We say in our training manuals that “the SECURE Act obliterates IRA trust planning.” That’s an aggressive word – “obliterates” – but it is accurate. We also shout from the mountain top that every trust created prior to the SECURE Act and named as an IRA beneficiary must be reviewed, potentially rewritten, or scrapped altogether. What was a perfectly effective planning strategy a couple of years ago could be totally useless now. Here’s how and why…

Stop Naming Trusts as IRA Beneficiaries!

Yes, trusts can play an instrumental role in estate planning. Yes, special needs trusts are invaluable to those with disabled or chronically ill family members. Trusts are essential for minors and for those who may struggle with managing money. Trusts also allow for post-death control of assets. But they are not for everyone, nor are they a panacea when it comes to estate planning…especially with IRAs. I continue to pound my head on the desk every time I encounter a trust unnecessarily named as an IRA beneficiary. Why did the IRA account owner name the trust? Bad advice? Was he simply trying to keep up with the Jones’ who bragged about their trust? Did he read someplace that all trusts are great? Was he intentionally trying to make things difficult for his IRA beneficiaries? Sadly, “making things difficult” is oftentimes the unintended result.

RMDs to a Trust Beneficiary of an IRA

In the past couple of weeks, I have heard the wrong answer to the question of where required minimum distributions (RMDs) must go to a trust beneficiary from both an advisor and an IRA custodian.

October Retirement Deadlines

In a post last week, we talked about the Roth recharacterization deadline which is fast approaching. October 16, 2017 is the last date to recharacterize a 2016 Roth conversion. Another important deadline that is coming up is for trusts that became the beneficiaries of retirement assets in 2016. A qualifying trust can use the life expectancy of the oldest beneficiary of the trust to calculate required minimum distributions that are payable to the trust as the beneficiary of the IRA. A qualifying trust is often referred to as a look-through or see-through trust. There are four requirements that a trust has to meet in order to be a qualifying trust. From § 1.401(a)(9)-4, A-5.

Special Needs Trusts vs. ABLE Accounts – Which is Better?

ABLE (Achieve a Better Living Experience) accounts are a brand new type of tax-favored savings account created to benefit young disabled persons. One of the questions that has been asked with increasing frequency is, “Should I use a special needs trust or an ABLE account to safeguard my money [for my special needs beneficiary]?” We outline 5 key areas to consider, along with a brief description of whether an ABLE account or special needs trust gets the edge in that area.

IRA Trustee Must Know Answers to These 15 Questions

In most cases, an IRA owner who names a trust as the beneficiary of their IRA names either the spouse or a child as the trustee of the trust. This may not be the best option, especially if they cannot answer the following 15 questions.

Who Pays the Tax on Inherited IRA Distributions If You Leave Your IRA to a Trust?

For a variety of reasons, you might be considering naming a trust as your IRA beneficiary. If that’s the case, then chances are that you have questions about how, exactly, that would work. One of the most common questions people have when they name a trust as their IRA beneficiary is, “Who will pay the tax on the inherited IRA distributions? The trust, or the trust beneficiaries?” We answer that question in this article.

IRA Trust Beneficiary Tips Live From Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group Workshop

Greetings from beautiful Denver Colorado, site of Ed Slott and Company’s Elite IRA Advisor Group Spring Workshop. Yesterday, during one of our breakout sessions, IRA trust expert Shannon Evans, JD, LLM, shared some key planning tips to consider when thinking about naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary. Here are just a few of those tips.

The October 31 Trust Deadline: The Who, What, When and Why

October 15 was a major deadline in the IRA world. Now that the date has passed, IRA trust owners and beneficiaries need to be aware of the very important October 31 deadline. In this article, we examine the "who, what, when and why" of this IRA trust cutoff.

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