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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." I believe that this is generally correct.

"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."

10 years is not exactly quickly. And the heir does not need to spend it, it needs to be withdrawn for the IRA.

"" 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."

That is the old rule and no longer in effect. When the 5-year rule was in effect, the "Stretch" rule provisions were also available, but those stretch rules are gone now, since the 10-year rule and age 72 rule (instead of 70 1/2) were put place.

Also, if the beneficiary has other income and is not otherwise maxing 401k and IRA, the inherited IRA can be used to subsidize current lifestyle while increasing IRA and 401k contributions to the max. Money is essentially fungible.

Regards, JAFO
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