Orange County California

Trust Attorneys


Who Controls IRA Distribution Options Explained By Orange County Estate Planning Attorney James F. Roberts

What Usually Happens When You Have An IRA And Who Controls IRA Distribution Options

What generally happens when you have an IRA is that you fill out a form that says who you want to receive and what percentage you want them to receive of the qualified funds. An example would be if you have three children and you want them to get equally you would fill out the form saying you want child A to get 1/3, child B to get 1/3, and child C to get 1/3. So you are able to choose who the beneficiary is going to be and you choose the percentage.

What you do not get to choose is how that money is distributed to those beneficiaries. Beneficiaries control IRA distribution options.

There is no where and nothing you can put on your form that says that can require your beneficiary to take a lump sum, a five year or a lifetime distribution. Your beneficiary gets to choose. The beneficiary controls the IRA distribution options and the choice they make has major tax consequences. Talk with one of our attorneys today about what you can do to help mitigate those tax consequences in your estate planning.

We also offer a regularly scheduled seminar in our office to help people determine what the best options are for them in their estate planning needs. We hope you sign up for one of our seminars to help you find your best options. We regularly conduct free seminars designed to teach about the benefits of creating an estate plan. The seminars are held on-site at our Anaheim office inside of our “classroom”. We offer light snacks and refreshments to the attendees and the group is often small and intimate, which allows for questions to be asked comfortably and for a very relaxed environment. Please encourage your loved ones to attend the seminar so that they may learn more about the estate planning process and benefits.

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