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I think I'm leaning towards just maxing out her IRA(s) every year, keeping the rest of the money in my name until needed for a downpayment or until it all gets into the IRA. It seems like any plan that would solve the community property issue would be impractical; the most important thing is getting the money to her in a form that empowers good use.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Just to be on the safe side, plus re-emphasizing that you want the money spent wisely, make the check payable to the custodian rather than your sister.

Best of luck to both of you.

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