What are some distribution choices available to IRA beneficiaries?


Quick Answer

The types of distributions available to IRA beneficiaries depend on the beneficiary���s relationship to the account owner and the age of the account owner at the time of death. Available distributions include a lump sum or payments scheduled over five years or the beneficiary's expected lifetime, according to Charles Schwab.

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Full Answer

Spouses who inherit an IRA can transfer the funds to their own IRA, regardless of the age of the deceased, Charles Schwab notes. When a surviving spouse prefers to take a distribution, the age of the deceased affects the type of distribution. If the spouse was younger than 70 1/2 at the time of death, the beneficiary can select any of the three distribution methods. If the spouse was older than 70 1/2, the beneficiary must choose a lump sum or a life-expectancy distribution. Non-spouse beneficiaries must select a distribution method, and they can���t transfer the funds to their IRA.

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