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My mother passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 90. Today I got a letter from CALSTRS saying that I was going to receive a one time death benefit from her account of about 6,300. It said that the death benefit will be taxable income, unless I do a direct roll-over into an inherited IRA. CALSTRS is the California State Teachers Retirement System. To the best of my knowledge, my mother did not have an IRA or either type at the time of her death.

Can an IRA be set up for her and the money put into it, or is it just straight income to me?

I just did this about a month ago with a couple of Dad's annuities. You need to talk to your brokerage and have them set up an inherited IRA in your mom's name with her SS, with you as beneficiary. They should know what to do. It has to be an institution to institution transfer. DO NOT TAKE A CHECK AND TRY TO ROLL IT INTO THE IRA.

You are in for some confusing times. My condolences.

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