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I've checked with 2 reliable sources. We have 3 options available to us.
1) take it all out at once and pay taxes on it
2) take an even distribution over a 5 year period (also pay taxes)
3) do an inherited IRA and take a minimum distribution based on my(our) life expecntancy at the time she turned 70.

Wrt Option 2, this from Pub 590: "Taking balance within 5 years. A beneficiary who is an individual may be required to take the entire account by the end of the fifth year following the year of the owner's death. If this rule applies, no distribution is required for any year before that fifth year."

What this means to me is that the schedule of withdrawals is irrelevant. The two extremes of taking all the money on the first day of the first year of the 5-year period, and taking all the money on the last day of the fifth year of the 5-year period, both satisfy the requirements of the 5-year option.

Eric Hines
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