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I found some of the answers in Pub 590 and some more questions as well. The following are the excerpts that I think apply to this individual's planning:

From IRS Pub 590:
Separate accounts. A single IRA can be split into separate accounts or shares for each beneficiary. These separate accounts or shares can be established at any time, either before or after the owner's required beginning date. Generally, these separate accounts or shares are combined for purposes of determining the minimum required distribution. However, these separate accounts or shares will not be combined for required minimum distribution purposes after the death of the IRA owner if the separate accounts or shares are established by the end of the year following the year of the IRA owner's death.
The separate account rules cannot be used by beneficiaries of a trust.

Trust as beneficiary. A trust cannot be a designated beneficiary even if it is a named beneficiary. However, the beneficiaries of a trust will be treated as having been designated beneficiaries for purposes of determining required minimum distributions after the owner’s death (or after the death of the owner’s surviving spouse described in Death of surviving spouse prior to date distributions begin , earlier) if all of the following are true:
1. The trust is a valid trust under state law, or would be but for the fact that there is no corpus.
2. The trust is irrevocable or became, by its terms, irrevocable upon the owner's death.
3. The beneficiaries of the trust who are beneficiaries with respect to the trust's interest in the owner's benefit are identifiable from the trust instrument.
4. The trustee of the trust provides the IRA custodian or trustee with the documentation required by that custodian or trustee. The trustee of the trust should contact the IRA custodian or trustee for details on the documentation required for a specific plan.
The deadline for the trustee to provide the beneficiary documentation to the IRA custodian or trustee is October 31 of the year following the year of the owner's death.

The bolded parts are the questions....the first bolded section has me wondering how does it relate to the #4 of the next section (these two paragraphs are presented here in the order they appear in 590)?

The second bolded section has me wondering what is meant by "but for the fact that there is no corpus"?

Pub 590 also said about annuities the following (condensed a bit but definitely pointing me to the referenced regulation:
Distributions from annuities: Regulations section 1.401(a)(9)-6

I Googled it, and it looks as if the beneficiaries take distributions from the annuities that are regular and based on the beneficiaries life expectancy, that those distributions would meet the requirements....but I'm no lawyer (nor, obviously, an enrolled agent), so I could be missing much.

My take-away is that if the Trust actually names the beneficiaries then the beneficiaries become "designated beneficiaries" and the withdrawal rules that apply to "designated beneficiaries" applies to them.
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