Many people who inherit IRAs are unfamiliar with the rules that apply to them. My article for Forbes magazine, “Five Rules For Inherited IRAs,” gives a broad overview of the subject. In this post I answer questions from two readers with concerns that affect other people, too.
Michael Twersky, a 26-year-old consultant in New York, asks:
I inherited a $15,000 traditional IRA from my father. As a child beneficiary, will I avoid income tax upon withdrawal if I wait until I’m 60? If not, would it be better to withdraw now while I’m still in a pretty low tax bracket?
You don’t have the option of waiting until you are 60 to take withdrawals.
Generally, non-spousal IRA heirs must withdraw a minimum amount each year, starting by Dec. 31 of the year after the IRA owner died. Note: This is true whether it’s a traditional IRA or a Roth a common misconception.