Should I Inherit My Deceased Spouse’s Traditional IRA?

There are a few options a client can consider when they inherit an IRA from their spouse. The best option for your client will depend upon a variety of factors, and the relevant rules and decision points can be confusing.

To help make the analysis easier, we have created the “Should I Inherit My Deceased Spouse’s Traditional IRA?” flowchart. It addresses common issues that arise when a client inherits a traditional IRA from a spouse:

  • Inheriting the IRA vs. rolling the IRA into the client’s own traditional IRA
  • 10-Year Rule vs. Life Expectancy Rule
  • RMD calculations
  • Considerations based on age and income needs


Updated for 10/15/2021