The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discusses some of the options that heirs have when inheriting retirement accounts in "What Your Kids Can Do When They Inherit Your Retirement Accounts."
Most people designate their spouses as the beneficiaries of their retirement accounts. However, people sometimes name non-spouse beneficiaries, such as their children.
What the children can do with the accounts is not as simple as it is for spouses. However, there are a few options.
The options include:
- The assets in the account can be taken out immediately as one lump sum.
- The assets in the account can be taken out whenever needed, as long as the account is empty within five years.
- The children can choose to stretch the account out over their own expected lifetimes. They will need to make annual required minimum distributions and must take the first one by a set time.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and advise you on your retirement accounts.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Nov. 22, 2017) "What Your Kids Can Do When They Inherit Your Retirement Accounts."