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The IRA has the two sons as the beneficiary.

The disussion of RMD's for beneficiaries begins on page 35 of Pub 590. If the decedent had an RMD for the year of death and had not taken it as of the date of death, it is calculated based on the decedent's age and distributed to the beneficiaries. Beginning the year after death RMD's are based on the beneficiary's age, assuming the account has been split into separate inherited IRA accounts.

As for what Dad wanted, the sons really need to get legal advice. If they're not legally required to turn money over to the widow and choose to do so, for tax purposes that's a gift. There are, however, procedures available for disclaiming an inheritance.

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