7 Rules for Inherited IRAs

7 RULES FOR INHERITED IRAS

Cornerstone is pleased to bring you this article by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing IRA education and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country. Our association with this organization helps us stay up to date on the latest developments in IRA and tax law. As always, give us a call if you’d like to discuss!

By Sarah Brenner, JD
Director of Retirement Education, Ed Slott and Company, LLC

Many IRA assets will ultimately go to nonspouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. Inherited IRAs are not like your own personal IRA account.

Seven rules for inherited IRAs that may surprise you if you are a nonspouse beneficiary:

1. You cannot contribute to your inherited IRA. You cannot make contributions to an inherited IRA. If you do have your own IRA, you cannot add those funds to the Inherited IRA or vice versa.

2. You can move your inherited IRA. If you are unhappy with the investment choices or the custodian, you can move your inherited IRA to another custodian, and you can select different investment options. However, you must move the account by direct transfer, and the new account must be an inherited IRA as well. As a nonspouse beneficiary, you cannot take a distribution and then roll it over within 60 days.

3. You may be able to do a QCD. If you are charitably inclined, you may be able to take advantage of a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) and move up to $100,000 of your IRA funds (annually) directly to the charity of your choice in a tax-free transfer. To do a QCD you must be 70 ½ or older.

4. You cannot convert your inherited IRA. Many times nonspouse beneficiaries are interested in having a Roth IRA. Unfortunately, the rules do not allow nonspouse IRA beneficiaries to convert inherited IRAs to Roth IRAs.

5. You may be subject to annual required distributions, or the 10-year rule at a minimum. You can’t keep the funds in your inherited IRA forever. If you inherited the IRA funds in 2020 or later, as a nonspouse beneficiary you will most like be subject to a 10-year payout-period, possibly with annual RMDs during the 10 year period. Certain eligible designated beneficiaries who inherit in 2020 or later and those beneficiaries who inherited prior to 2020 may be still be able to stretch RMDs over life expectancy.

6. Your distributions may be taxable, but there will be no penalty. Inherited IRAs are never subject to the 10% early distribution penalty. However, if you inherit a traditional IRA, it is likely that the distributions you take will be taxable. If you inherit a Roth IRA, you are more fortunate from a tax perspective. Distributions from an inherited Roth IRA will most likely be tax-free.

7. You should name a successor beneficiary. When you inherit an IRA, it makes sense to name a beneficiary. If you don’t, the default provisions in the IRA document are likely to apply. In many cases this would mean the funds would go to your estate which can mean more taxes and the time and expense of probate.

Gordon Wollman and Ed Slott

Gordon Wollman, Founder and President of Cornerstone Financial Solutions, and Raymond James Wealth Advisor, with Ed Slott at the 2023 Spring workshop for members of Ed Slott’s Elite and Master Elite IRA Advisor Group℠.

Membership in Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group(TM)  is one of the tools our advisors use to help you avoid unnecessary taxes and fees on your retirement dollars. Gordon attends in-depth technical training on advanced retirement account planning strategies and estate planning techniques. And semiannual workshops analyzing the most recent tax law changes, case studies, private letter rulings, Congressional action and Supreme Court rulings help keep attendees on the cutting-edge of retirement, tax law and IRA distribution planning. Through his membership, Gordon is immediately notified of changes to the tax code and updates on retirement planning, and he has 24/7 access to Ed Slott and Company LLC to confer with on complex cases.

This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published in The Slott Report on irahelp.com by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing timely IRA information and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country and is distributed with its permission. Copyright ©2023, Ed Slott and Company, LLC Reprinted from The Slott Report, September 06, 2023, with permission https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/rules-inherited-iras-may-surprise-nonspouse-beneficiaries. Ed Slott and Company, LLC takes no responsibility for the current accuracy of this article.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of of Sarah Brenner, JD, The Slott Report, ED Slott, Ed Slott and Company, LLC, IRA Help, LLC, irahelp.com, or Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group. Members of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group(SM) train with Ed Slott and his team of IRA Experts on a continuous basis. These advisors passed a background check, complete requisite training, attend semiannual workshops, webinars, and complete mandatory exams. They are immediately notified of changes to the tax laws.

Avoiding Spousal Beneficiary Mistakes

AVOIDING SPOUSAL BENEFICIARY MISTAKES

5 Easy Steps

Cornerstone is pleased to bring you this article by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing IRA education and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country. Our association with this organization helps us stay up to date on the latest developments in IRA and tax law. As always, give us a call if you’d like to discuss!

Who is a spouse beneficiary?

 

A spouse beneficiary:

    • Must be married to the account owner at the time of the account owner’s death, and
    • Must be named on the beneficiary form (or inherit directly through the document default provisions).

 As a spouse beneficiary you have unique options:

1. Split the inherited account if necessary. As a spouse beneficiary, you can take advantage of the special spousal rules if you are the sole beneficiary of an IRA account.

If other beneficiaries have been named, the spouse can still take advantage of these special provisions by transferring their portion of the inherited IRA to a separate account by December 31st of the year following the year of the IRA owner’s death.

2. Will you need money prior to age 59½. If so, you will likely want to remain a beneficiary of the inherited account. Death is an exception to the 10% early distribution penalty. So, by staying as a beneficiary you can avoid paying the 10% penalty.

The account should be retitled as a properly titled inherited IRA. As a spouse that remains a beneficiary you do not need to take RMDs from the account until the year the deceased spouse would have turned 73.

3. Transfer the inherited IRA into a spouse beneficiary’s account. As a spouse beneficiary you should generally roll the inherited IRA into your name. Once a younger spouse beneficiary reaches age 59½, there’s no advantage to remaining a beneficiary, and a spousal rollover or transfer should be done.

NO other beneficiary has this option. By doing this rollover or transfer, a surviving spouse ensures that eligible designated beneficiaries will be able to stretch distributions over their own life expectancies.

4. Name new beneficiaries. As the surviving spouse you should name your own beneficiaries. If no beneficiaries have been named and the surviving spouse dies, the remaining assets will pass according to the default provisions in the custodial document. This is frequently the estate of the now deceased spouse, which could require a shorter payout period for beneficiaries or add unnecessary time and expenses by tying the assets up in probate.

5. Consider a disclaimer. Before taking any action regarding an inherited IRA, as a surviving spouse you should evaluate whether a full or partial disclaimer would be advantageous. By using a disclaimer, some or all of the inherited IRA can be passed to contingent beneficiaries, potentially extending the stretch IRA and reducing the future impact of estate taxes for eligible designated beneficiaries.

Gordon Wollman and Ed Slott

Gordon Wollman, Founder and President of Cornerstone Financial Solutions, and Raymond James Wealth Advisor, with Ed Slott at the 2023 Spring workshop for members of Ed Slott’s Elite and Master Elite IRA Advisor Group℠.

Membership in Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group(T)  is one of the tools our advisors use to help you avoid unnecessary taxes and fees on your retirement dollars. Gordon attends in-depth technical training on advanced retirement account planning strategies and estate planning techniques. And semiannual workshops analyzing the most recent tax law changes, case studies, private letter rulings, Congressional action and Supreme Court rulings help keep attendees on the cutting-edge of retirement, tax law and IRA distribution planning. Through his membership, Gordon is immediately notified of changes to the tax code and updates on retirement planning, and he has 24/7 access to Ed Slott and Company LLC to confer with on complex cases.

This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing timely IRA information and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2023, Ed Slott and Company, LLC. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Ed Slott or Ed Slott and Company, LLC.

 Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of ED Slott, Ed Slott and Company, LLC, IRA Help, LLC, or Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group. Members of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor GroupSM train with Ed Slott and his team of IRA Experts on a continuous basis. These advisors passed a background check, complete requisite training, attend semiannual workshops, webinars, and complete mandatory exams. They are immediately notified of changes to the tax laws.

Five New Opportunities for Tax-Free Growth and Withdrawals

Cornerstone is pleased to bring you this article by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing IRA education and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country. Our association with this organization helps us stay up to date on the latest developments in IRA and tax law updates. As always, give us a call if you’d like to discuss!

Twenty-five years ago, Roth IRAs first became available, offering the promise of tax-free earnings and withdrawals. Since then, Roth options have exploded. Employer plans can now offer Roth options and income limits on Roth conversions are long gone. The recently enacted SECURE 2.0 has made it clear that the trend toward more Roth accounts becoming available for retirement savings is accelerating. Roth-O-Mania has arrived!

Here are five new Roth savings opportunities introduced by SECURE 2.0:

  1. Roth Employer Plan Contributions

Most 401(k) (and other workplace retirement savings plans) provide for employer contributions. These contributions are either matching contributions for participants who make salary deferrals, or across-the-board nonelective contributions for all eligible participants.

Until now, employer contributions, including matches on Roth salary deferrals, have been required to be made to a pre-tax account within the plan. However, beginning in 2023, SECURE 2.0 allows for employer contributions to be made to Roth accounts.

Roth employer contributions are allowed in 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans. SECURE 2.0 makes clear that employers are not required to make their contributions on a Roth basis. It is optional, not mandatory. SECURE 2.0 also provides that only vested matching or nonelective contributions can qualify for Roth treatment. For tax purposes, Roth employer contributions will be treated the same as Roth employee contributions. That is, employees will be taxed on the amount of the Roth contribution.

Roth employer contributions are allowed in 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) 

 

  1. Roth SEPs and SIMPLEs

Many small business owners offer SEP or SIMPLE IRA plans for their employees. SEP IRAs provide only employer contributions. SIMPLE IRAs provide both employer contributions and employee contributions. Employers with SEP or SIMPLE plans have always been required to make contributions on a pre-tax basis. However, beginning in 2023, SECURE 2.0 permits both SIMPLE and SEP Roth IRA contributions.

Employees can now make SIMPLE Roth IRA salary deferrals similarly to the way participants in an employer plan can make Roth contributions (if the plan allows). SIMPLE Roth contributions made by employees are includible in taxable income for the year of the contribution.

SEP and SIMPLE Roth employer contributions may also be offered. If the Roth option is offered, employees can choose to treat employer SEP and SIMPLE contributions as Roth.

 

  1. No Lifetime RMDs for Roth Plans

Beginning in 2024, SECURE 2.0 eliminates the need to take lifetime required minimum distributions (RMDs) on Roth plan dollars. This brings Roth plan RMD rules more in line with Roth IRA RMD rules.

Participants in workplace plans — like a 401(k) or 403(b) — will no longer have to factor their Roth plan dollars into their lifetime RMD calculation. This could result in a significant reduction in the plan RMD from 2023 to 2024.

Additionally, plan participants will no longer be forced to roll over Roth plan dollars to a Roth IRA to avoid taking an RMD on those Roth assets. Does this mean that rolling a plan to a Roth IRA is no longer a good option? Not necessarily. Rolling over the funds to a Roth IRA may still be the best choice due to a multitude of other factors – such as more favorable Roth IRA distribution ordering rules, investment options, easier access, etc.

Roth plan participants will join Roth IRA owners in not being subject to lifetime RMDs. However, beneficiaries of a Roth plan, like Roth IRA beneficiaries, are subject to the RMD rules. With either a Roth plan account or a Roth IRA, any distribution to a beneficiary will likely be income tax free. However, after the SECURE Act, most non-spouse beneficiaries will be subject to the 10-year rule that requires the inherited Roth funds to be fully withdrawn by the end of the 10th year after death.

 

  1. Rollovers from 529 Plans to Roth IRAs

SECURE 2.0 allows rollovers from 529 plans to Roth IRAs beginning in 2024. For those who have concerns about what to do with funds “left over” in a 529 plan, this may be a good opportunity. Leftover 529 funds can now be rolled over to a Roth IRA in the name of the 529 beneficiary.

These rollovers from 529 plans to Roth IRAs would not be subject to the income restrictions that normally apply to Roth IRA contributions. However, there are many restrictions. The 529 plan must have been in place for at least 15 years. Rollover amounts cannot include any 529 contributions (and earnings on those contributions) made in the preceding five-year period. Annual rollovers cannot exceed the annual Roth IRA contribution limit, and total lifetime rollovers cannot exceed $35,000.

 

  1. Required Roth Catch-Up Contributions

Beginning in 2024, SECURE 2.0 requires any age 50-and-older catch-up contributions made to 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) plans by certain higher-paid participants to be made as Roth contributions. This includes a participant whose wages received from the plan sponsor for the preceding calendar year exceeded $145,000 (as indexed). Individuals who are not in this group can choose to make catch-up contributions as Roth contributions (if the plan allows) but are not required to do so. 

The Future is Roth

In the past several years, we have seen several legislative proposals put forward that would have limited the availability of Roth accounts. For example, there were proposals to do away with back-door Roth conversions and proposals that would have added income limits for Roth conversions.

None of these proposals that would have cut back on Roth accounts found their way into SECURE 2.0. The reason is clear: Congress is desperate for revenue, and Roth accounts raise immediate tax dollars. In fact, four of the five new Roth rule changes discussed in this article can be found in “Title VI — Revenue Provisions” in the SECURE 2.0 law. Roth-O-Mania is likely here to stay, and with it comes more opportunities for tax-free growth and withdrawals for savvy retirement savers.

Gordon Wollman and Ed Slott

Gordon Wollman, Founder and President of Cornerstone Financial Solutions, and Raymond James Wealth Advisor, with Ed Slott at the 2023 Spring workshop for members of Ed Slott’s Elite and Master Elite IRA Advisor Group℠.

Membership in Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group(T)  is one of the tools our advisors use to help you avoid unnecessary taxes and fees on your retirement dollars. Gordon attends in-depth technical training on advanced retirement account planning strategies and estate planning techniques. And semiannual workshops analyzing the most recent tax law changes, case studies, private letter rulings, Congressional action and Supreme Court rulings help keep attendees on the cutting-edge of retirement, tax law and IRA distribution planning. Through his membership, Gordon is immediately notified of changes to the tax code and updates on retirement planning, and he has 24/7 access to Ed Slott and Company LLC to confer with on complex cases.

This information, developed by an independent third party, has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Changes in tax laws or regulations may occur at any time and could substantially impact your situation. ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This article was published by Ed Slott and Company, LLC, an organization providing timely IRA information and analysis to financial advisors, institutions, consumers, and media across the country and is distributed with its permission. Copyright 2023, Ed Slott and Company, LLC. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Ed Slott or Ed Slott and Company, LLC.

 Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of ED Slott, Ed Slott and Company, LLC, IRA Help, LLC, or Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group. Members of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor GroupSM train with Ed Slott and his team of IRA Experts on a continuous basis. These advisors passed a background check, complete requisite training, attend semiannual workshops, webinars, and complete mandatory exams. They are immediately notified of changes to the tax laws.

7 Revealing Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Jill Mollner, MBA, CFP®
Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Branch Operations Manager, CFS

Choosing who to trust with your finances is a big deal. Finding the best financial advisor might seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.

You’ve worked hard for your money and there are many options available. Long term financial independence is important to you and the team at Cornerstone Financial Solutions is committed to helping you plan for financial well-being.

Here are 7 questions to ask when interviewing potential advisors:

1. What services can I expect?

While some advisors only offer basic investment planning, we cover all 5 areas of wealth management, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Those 5 areas of wealth management are:

      • Investment Management
      • Risk Management
      • Retirement Planning
      • Estate Planning
      • Tax Planning Strategies

2. What type of education, accreditations and licenses do you have?

Most people think all financial planners are “certified,” but the fact is anyone who is licensed to sell these products and give advice can use the title “financial planner.” The wealth advisors at Cornerstone Financial Solutions have committed to holding the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) designation or be working to complete the rigorous certification process.

The CFP® designation is considered the standard of excellence in financial planning, requiring a college degree. CFP® professionals have developed theoretical and practical knowledge by completing demanding education, examination, experience, and ethical requirements, and agree to continued monitoring and continuing education.

3. How long have you been in business?

Most people only retire once in their life, but through helping our clients, our team has essentially retired thousands of times. It is easier to avoid a mistake than correct one, so let us provide our knowledge and lessons we have learned over the years (140 years combined team experience and 30 years in business) to help you.

4. How many people are on your team?

Team-based wealth advice offers many advantages over a solo-advisor approach. More advisors and team members mean having access to a broader scope of knowledge, expertise, capabilities, and service offerings, and you won’t lose years of valuable planning to someone you don’t know.

5. Are you a fiduciary?

Advice from our advisors is conflict-free and is never related to the possibility of earning a potential commission. Acting in a fiduciary capacity, our advisory clients’ best interests are always at the center. We don’t offer products designed to generate unnecessary or excessive fees. Our advisors offer comprehensive financial planning and make investments that are consistent with your risk tolerance and goals.

6. What are your fees? 

We believe in full transparency and full disclosure – especially when it comes to fees. At Cornerstone Financial Solutions, we offer mostly fee-based planning. Simply put, we are on the same side of the table as you, we participate in the gains, and we participate in the losses. When you do well, we do well.

7. What is your succession plan?

A succession plan ensures that a business can continue to run smoothly after an important role becomes vacant. At Cornerstone, we have an internal, built-in succession plan so that any transition will be smooth.

When choosing a wealth advisor, you are likely starting what will be a life-long relationship. You will be sharing personal details about your financial situation, dreams, and goals, so it’s important to work with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.

Helping you build a financial plan to achieve what’s truly possible is what we do. Empowering you to pursue greater dreams is who we are. I’d love to visit with you about your dreams. Feel free to contact our office at 605-357-8553 or email me at cfsteam@mycfsgroup.com.

Caring For Aging Parents

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, the worldwide population over age 65 is growing. In the past decade, the population of Americans aged 65 and older has grown 35%, and is expected to reach 94.7 million in 2060. As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.1

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about extended medical care. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent important information from being exchanged and critical decisions from being made.

When talking to a parent about future care, it’s best to have a strategy for structuring the conversation. Here are some key concepts to consider.

Cover The Basics

Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Here is a checklist that can be a good starting point:

  • Primary physician
  • Specialists
  • Medications and supplements
  • Allergies to medication

It is also important to know the location of medical and estate management paperwork, including:2

  • Medicare card
  • Insurance information
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare
  • Will, living will, trusts and other documents

Be Thorough

Remember that if you can collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could signal a major change in your parent’s life. The transition from provider to dependent can be difficult for any parent and has the potential to unearth old issues. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind, but do your best to get all the information you need.

Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

This conversation is probably not the only one you will have with your parent about their future healthcare needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.

Don’t Procrastinate

The earlier you begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you will be to have all the information you need when a crisis arises. How will you know when a parent needs your help? Look for indicators like fluctuations in weight, failure to take medication, new health concerns, and diminished social interaction. These can all be warning signs that additional care may soon become necessary. Don’t avoid the topic of care just because you are uncomfortable. Chances are that waiting will only make you more so.

Remember, whatever your relationship with your parent has been, this new phase of life will present challenges for both parties. By treating your parent with love and respect—and taking the necessary steps toward open communication—you will be able to provide the help needed during this new phase of life.

 

Sources:

1. ACL.gov, 2020
2. Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2022 FMG Suite.