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I agree with Bill. If there is a designated beneficiary (or multiple beneficiaries) on the IRA, they will get the money and pay the tax. If there is no beneficiary (or no surviving beneficiary), the distribution will go to the estate and it will be taxable there, subject to the usual potential distribution of income to the estate beneficiaries.

At the end of the year, the IRA custodian will send a 1099R to whomever they wrote the check to.

That's pretty much what I thought. The question was raised because the two sons of the decedent are the sole beneficiaries of the Estate and also the named beneficiaries of the IRA. The IRA RMD might be the only income of the Estate other than any gain/loss on the sale of decedent's residence, so the tax rate within the Estate actually could be lower than the rates paid by the beneficiaries. They approached me prior to asking the bank to pay the RMD so that they would know their options.

Thank you all for your input.

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