Beneficiary Forms and Roth Conversions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Beneficiary Forms and Roth Conversions: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF®
IRA Analyst
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Question:

Hello,

I was wondering, will incorrect information on a Beneficiary Designation form cause it to be invalid?  I see forms with a wrong or missing date of birth, or ones listing more than one beneficiary, each assigned 100%.

Thanks,

Susan


Answer:

Susan,

An error on a beneficiary form could certainly invalidate it. However, it is ultimately up to the custodian to determine if a beneficiary form is acceptable or not as it depends on the magnitude of the error. Of course, the last thing anyone wants to deal with during this time is questions about who the beneficiaries are on an account. Even if the custodian does accept a form with apparent mistakes, there could still be a legal battle if someone felt disinherited. If you see a form with errors, the best course of action is to have a new form completed properly, dated and signed.


Question:

Hi Ed,

Following you for a while and read your books. I am 57, married, still working and receive a government pension. My Federal adjusted gross income last year was over $200k. Is it too late to move IRA to a Roth based on phaseout? Do I have any options? I plan to work another 10 years.

Thank you for taking my question.

G


Answer:

G,

As for direct contributions to a Roth, you are near the top of the 2019 phase-out limit of $193,000 - $203,000 for those married filing joint. Even though you are only 57 and are still working, a Roth IRA contribution is probably off the table.

However, it sounds like you are asking about converting from a traditional IRA to a Roth. It does not matter how old you are, how much money you make, what your AGI is, if you participate in a workplace plan or if you are even working or not. Anyone with a traditional IRA can convert all or a portion of their IRA to a Roth. But remember, converted dollars are treated as ordinary income. With an AGI of over $200,000, you still have some room within the 24% tax bracket assuming you file joint with your spouse. Before jumping into a Roth conversion, be sure to discuss the ramifications with your tax advisor.

 

 

 

 


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