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Weekend Reading: Worried About Passing Down a Big IRA? Consider a CRT

Every Friday, Casey Weade highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Catch a preview of this week’s Weekend Reading for Retirees with one of Casey’s featured articles here.
Weekend reading kiplinger ira crt article Weekend reading kiplinger ira crt article
Weekend Reading

You might have heard the term 'Tax Time Bomb' and its relation to your IRA, especially after the passage of the 2019 SECURE Act. If you're planning on leaving a legacy to loved ones in the way of your IRA, having control of how those lifelong savings are dispersed has become more complicated. Learn more about how utilizing a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) could help maximize the future inheritance for your heirs in this article from Kiplinger below.

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You’ve been stashing money away in your 401(k) or IRA tax-free all throughout your working years. This is a lifeline of income for your retirement, but what happens if you want to also leave it behind as a legacy to loved ones?

It’s Complicated: With the passage of the 2019 SECURE Act and elimination of the Stretch IRA, beneficiaries who are not the IRA owner’s spouse must withdraw all funds from the IRA within 10 years. This not only nixes the ability of IRA owners to spread distributions out over a longer period of time for greater income tax advantages, but also veto’s the option to limit a beneficiary’s ability to immediately access IRA funds or distributions to required minimum distributions for terms that are 10+ years.

What’s the solution? A potential workaround for this 10-year limit is a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT). This tool allots beneficiaries distributions of a fixed percentage or amount for life, or a term of less than 20 years. At the end of the trust term, the remaining assets are paid to charity, but that remaining interest must be at least 10 percent of the trust’s value at inception.

My advice: Run the numbers for yourself. You might find that your beneficiaries net more of your IRA’s value after-tax, versus if you left them the IRA outright, with the bonus of leaving money to charity as well. Keep in mind, this strategy works best for those with above-average IRA balances at death, who are leaving assets to high-income beneficiaries.