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I have two minor children, and I want to name my spouse as my primary beneficiary, and our Joint Living Trust (which has a children's subtrust provision) as the secondary beneficiary rather than name the children directly as beneficiaries. My reason for doing this is to establish the Living Trust trustee as the manager of the IRA assets for the children should both myself and my wife die, rather than go through the delays and uncertainty of the courts appointing a financial custodian for the IRA assets until the children reach majority. I have heard many people say that naming a living trust as beneficiary of an IRA is a bad idea, but it seems like this is the best way to do this. If it is not, what should I do instead?

With the trust as beneficiary, upon the death of both myself and my spouse, will the children still be able to spread distribution or the remaining IRA assets over their lifetime, or will it accelerate when they inherit it? Thanks,

Nick Steele
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Greetings, Nick, and welcome. You asked:

. I have heard many people say that naming a living trust as beneficiary of an IRA is a bad idea, but it seems like this is the best way to do this. If it is not, what should I do instead?

With the trust as beneficiary, upon the death of both myself and my spouse, will the children still be able to spread distribution or the remaining IRA assets over their lifetime, or will it accelerate when they inherit it?


It's not necessarily a bad idea to do so. You just have to be careful to jump through all the hoops when you do. I wrote about those hoops in "A Trust As An IRA Beneficiary" at http://www.fool.com/retirement/retireeport/2000/retireeport000814.htm.

While those rules still pertain, the new rules on IRA minimum required distributions make it somewhat easier to pass IRA monies through to the trust beneficiaries based on their life expectancies. See Natalie Choate's piece at http://www.ataxplan.com/articles_fr/notice_fm.htm for an explanation of those trust rules.

Regards..Pixy
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