Spousal IRA Beneficiaries

Should the time come that you inherit your spouse’s IRA, it is important that you act promptly in making the appropriate elections regarding your benefits. The potential tax implications of failing to withdraw any required minimum amounts from your Inherited IRA can be as much as 50% of the missed distribution.

You may use our Beneficiary RMD Calculator to assist you in determining any Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) that may be due. As always, you may wish to seek a qualified tax advisor for assistance.

As the beneficiary of your spouse’s IRA, you have a number of options available to you depending on your specific circumstances. Choose the appropriate scenario below to learn more about the options available.

For Traditional IRAs

Note: The Required Beginning Date is normally April 1 of the year following the year that an individual attains age 70½.


While you will have similar options as it relates to an Inherited Roth IRA, it is usually best to treat the account as your own, since ROTH accounts have no RMD requirements during the accountholder’s lifetime. By retitling the account into your name, you can continue the tax-free accumulation of the account for as long as you live.

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