Spousal inherited IRA | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Spousal inherited IRA

surviving spouse is 48 yrs old. deceased was 50 and passed this year. She will need access to some funds, maybe not all, to help her get to at least 59 1/2.
if she rolls to an inherited IRA:
1. can she convert some to Roth?
2. any funds remaining in the inherited IRA at age 60 can be rolled to her own IRA if she no longer wants/needs the RMDs, correct? knowing her own RMD will begin at age 72.

She can maintain the IRA as a beneficiary to access penalty free distributions as needed. During this time, there are no RMDs required if she is the sole beneficiary. Her RMDs would not start until deceased spouse would have reached 72. She should elect to assume ownership after reaching age 59.5, with no RMDs until 72. To be clear, if she were to maintain as inherited, there are no beneficiary RMDs needed until spouse would have been 72 (she would be 70 by then).  At anytime, she can convert amounts to a Roth IRA, but will not be able to tap the Roth conversions without penalty until they have been held 5 years, or she reaches 59.5 if sooner. None of this was affected by the Secure Act.

So she can convert whatever amount from the inherited ira to a roth ira, no limitations?

Yes, she might convert the amount she estimates she will not need for at least 5 years and leave the rest in the inherited TIRA which she can withdraw without penalty.  The converted amount would be done considering that 2020 is their last year to file jointly. Starting next year filing single status will result in higher tax rates, therefore this year might be the last year a conversion is possible at lower tax rates.  She might want to convert up to the top of their expected bracket for 2020. The rest could be be kept in the inherited TIRA from which she could take penalty free distributions to get her to 59.5.


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