The fear that a person’s adult children will mismanage their inheritance is not uncommon. Luckily, the field of estate planning offers many tools to assist parents in ensuring that this does not happen. As a recent article explains, one of these tools is the trusteed IRA.
A trusteed IRA combines a traditional IRA with the benefits of a trust account. Importantly, the owner of a trusteed IRA can more confidently leave his or her account to his or her heirs, as the trusteed IRA provides a long-term distribution plan for making withdrawals. Chief fiduciary officer of U.S. Bancorp Sally Mullen explains that “for clients who want to control what happens after their death, this is an interesting and attractive vehicle.”
Before selecting any estate planning device, it is important to understand the risks associated with various devices. A trusteed IRA presents two major risks: (1) the trusteed IRA could end up with a higher tax liability than the heirs would have otherwise been responsible for, and (2) the IRS may determine that the trust is not a “see-through” or “conduit” trust, meaning that his or her heirs would not be able to take the stretched-out withdrawals as planned.