Naming a Minor as Your IRA Beneficiary
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Naming a Minor as Your IRA Beneficiary

By Sarah Brenner, JD
Director of Retirement Education

By Sarah Brenner, JD

If you want to leave your IRA to an adult, you simply name that person on the IRA beneficiary form. Unfortunately, when it comes to minors, it is not that easy.

When a minor inherits retirement dollars, the child is not legally able to make financial decisions. A guardian may be needed. Guardians could be named in a parent's will, and some IRA beneficiary designation forms allow nomination of a guardian. The court can also appoint a guardian, but this can be a long and expensive process.


Q: I have an inherited IRA which falls under the 10-year rule. I understand that the IRS has tried to clear up the 10-year RMD (required minimum distribution) confusion but I am still not sure which RMD Table I am supposed to use! I am a non-spouse (daughter of the deceased) and it's confusing. Will I need to make up the RMDs for the first two years when the rules were not clearly stated?


Q: I'm looking forward to the July workshop in Boston but hoping you can help with this question now.

What happens if an account holder who is over age 59 =C2=BD does a Roth conversion from his traditional IRA but dies before the five-year holding period?


Q: Can an Education Savings Account (ESA) be rolled into a Roth IRA under the recently enacted SECURE 2.0? 529 plans clearly can - beginning in 2024 - but I have found no reference to ESAs. Can you kindly clarify this and direct me to any literature?


Q: My daughter had two employers during 2022. The first employer offered a matching 401(k) plan in which she enrolled. The second employer (her current employer) offers no retirement plan benefit. In preparing my daughter's 2022 federal tax return on TurboTax, she is unable to take advantage of a deduction for an IRA contribution, because the 2022 W-2 from her first employer in 2022 indicates that she is covered by a retirement plan. The 2022 W-2 from her current employer does not. Is there any way my daughter can get an IRA deduction on her 2022 tax return? Thank you for taking my inquiry.


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