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If you do not discuss disposal of your IRA assets with your custodian, this may create unwanted problems for your beneficiary or beneficiaries, especially if your beneficiary is not your spouse. Left to chance, the options offered to beneficiaries may not be in accord with your wishes. For instance, custodians are not required to follow the guidelines set in IRA regulations, one of which allows beneficiaries to take distributions over their life expectancies, as determined by government tables. This method permits beneficiaries to withdraw only a certain amount each year. However, some custodians may insist on beneficiaries taking lump sum distributions, which in many cases may result in tax liabilities. To make certain that at your death all transactions involving your beneficiaries are handled according to your wishes, check things over carefully with your custodian. This is important if you want your beneficiaries to have all the options open to them.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|