Spouse as Beneficiary Options
If you have inherited your spouse's pre-tax IRA (Traditional, SEP, or SIMPLE) you can:1. Treat the IRA as your own
- You may re-title the Inherited IRA account in own name (only allowed if you as the spouse are the sole beneficiary); or
- You may rollover/transfer the funds into your own IRA account
-OR- 2. Treat yourself as the beneficiary
- If the original IRA owner passes before their required beginning date, you have the following options:
- Use the 5 year distribution rule; or
- The single life expectancy of the designated beneficiary
Additionally, if the original IRA owner dies on or after
their required date for RMDs, the RMDs are based on the longer of:
When the surviving spouse is the sole designated beneficiary and chooses to treat themselves as the beneficiary rather than treat the IRA as their own, distribution rules may differ.
- The single life expectancy of the designated beneficiary; or
- The original IRA owner's life expectancy
Please see Instructions in IRS Publication 590-B for more information.