Inherited IRAs and Beneficiary Designations


The passage of the SECURE Act brought about many changes to the field and practice of retirement planning, including the distribution of IRA assets to heirs and beneficiaries upon the death of the IRA owner. The purpose of this course is to offer an in-depth explanation of the rules that apply to inherited IRAs—traditional and Roth—and the requirements that IRA owners and beneficiaries must meet.  

These distribution-at-death rules are complicated, and the penalties for improperly handling inherited IRA funds or not taking distributions as required can be costly.  For these reasons, clients need the guidance and knowledge of advisors who understand these rules, and can steer clients to planning options that are appropriate and suitable for their needs.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of who can be named an IRA beneficiary, and when and how this is done
  • distinguish between designated IRA beneficiaries and nondesignated IRA beneficiaries
  • articulate the reasons why the tax laws impose minimum distribution requirements on IRAs
  • define the differences between required distribution rules for traditional IRAs and those that pertain to Roth IRAs
  • understand the changes brought about by the SECURE Act with regard to the options for taking  inherited IRA assets
  • describe the requirements that a trust must meet in order to be deemed a "look-through" trust that will be considered a designated IRA beneficiary
  • recognize the distribution options available to spousal and nonspousal beneficiaries at the death of an IRA owner

Designed For

Life and health insurance producers, financial advisors, tax accountants

Advanced Preparation


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