IRA Beneficiary

IRA Beneficiary

What is the advantage or disadvantage of naming my estate as the beneficiary of my IRA. I am over 72 and taking RMD distributions. I have no spouse or children. The IRA value is about 500k and my other assets are about 500k in investments and 500k in my residence.


Who are you looking to benefit from your IRA and other assets? A key goal of planning for IRAs is to maximize the stretch out period over which a beneficiary has to withdraw it. But to address that more clearly the intended beneficiaries need to be considered. Your heirs are generally better off if you name them as beneficiaries directly rather than passing it through your estate unless there is a specific reason you're doing so. You could avoid probate by designating a beneficiary for your IRA, having your house retitled to joint with rights of survivorship, and perhaps your other assets. While you won't face a federal estate tax you might face a state estate tax (about 22 states have decoupled from the federal estate tax).

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