• The bank is out of state and I don’t think they will accept verbal authorization. Why would that be preferable to a form anyway?
• Regarding prior answer: “By far the main pitfall here is requesting too large a distribution since there is no way to put the money back in creating a tax bill that cannot be changed.” I see your point. But if the beneficiary is specifying the exact amount to withdraw, based on the correct divisor and prior year balance of account would there be any problem? Wouldn’t that likely produce a correct RMD? If it were a little high rather than too low wouldn’t that be preferable in terms of avoiding IRS penalty?
• Or, is it generally safer to let the Custodian (a bank) figure the RMD for some reason? Certainly no one wants to pay too much in taxes, but the concern is that they will use wrong divisor as I’ve seen on other accounts in the past and the RMD will be too low. For 2016 especially, there likely wouldn’t be time to correct this before year end.
• And as to your mention of “…no need for a separate RMD form...” a separate RMD form, I think they are saying either an RMD form if the beneficiary wants to set up auto RMDs that custodian figures OR a yearly withdrawals to take RMDs annually figured by the Beneficiary.