Roth IRA Minimum Distribution Rules for Beneficiaries

Learning the basics of how Roth IRA minimum distributions work can help you avoid any potential problems when the time comes. Here are the basics of Roth IRA minimum distributions and how they work for beneficiaries. 

Minimum Distributions

With a traditional IRA, the account holder has to start taking minimum distributions by the time he or she reaches the age of 70 1/2. This is due to the fact that no taxes have ever been paid on the money in the account and the government wants to start collecting some. However, with a Roth IRA, the account holder has already paid taxes on the front end. This means that the same rules do not apply to beneficiaries of a Roth IRA as they do with a traditional IRA.

Spouse Options

If you are the spouse of the deceased account holder, you have the option to roll the funds from your spouse's IRA into your own IRA. The funds are then treated like your own.

Non-Spouse Beneficiary

If you are not a spouse of the deceased but are the beneficiary, you will have to take a minimum distribution. All of the funds have to be disbursed by the end of the fifth year containing the anniversary of the account holder's death.  

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