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"One question that I have is does it make sense to have a trust as a beneficiary of an IRA instead of using a TOD? The only function(s) that need to occur are splitting the IRA into three equal parts and are titled as Inherited IRA for each beneficiary? "

It would seem to be NO.

IRAs are INDIVIDUAL Retirement accounts.

Upon death of the owner of the IRA, it needs to go to a beneficiary directly.

Normally, for a wife, it would pass to husband without written instructions. as a spouse.

Any other split will result in the 'heirs' having INDIVIDUAL retirement accounts which they will have to quickly spend down to ZERO.

IF the are younger than 72

" If the owner was younger than 72,* the assets must be completely distributed by December 31 of the 5th year containing the anniversary of the IRA owner's death."

The IRS wants its money.

You can't dole out an IRA over 20 years if you are under 72 when you get it. Five years.

For a younger non-spouse 'inheritor', a boat load of taxes will be paid over those 5 years.

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