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emc011075, Tax adviser
Category: Tax
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Experience:  IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Just Answer I have a friend whose husband died 11 months after

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I have a friend whose husband died 11 months after establishing an IRA. He died November 20th, 2012. I am assisting the wife with the options she has with regard to the funds in this IRA. Her husband was 66 years old when he died and his wife is currently 66 years of age.
The option that I understand is that she can keep the existing IRA that is with an annuity company or do what is called a spousal IRA.
If she decides to rollover or transfer these funds from the husbands IRA into her own IRA, what I am unsure about is the time frame this must be done after his death and if there is a deadline to do either the rollover or transfer.
How much time after her husband’s death does the wife have to rollover or transfer her husband’s IRA if she chooses to do so?
If there is no significant deadline to rollover or transfer the IRA, is there any negative to doing nothing and keeping the deceased husbands IRA the same for a long period of time?
Thank you.

emc011075 :

Because they are both about the same age and both over 59 1/2 there are really no disadvantages to keep it in his name or roll it over as tax free lump sump distribution. It doesn't matter which option she chooses she will be required to start taking MRDs in the year her deceased husband would had been required. There's no time frame to do it, but once rolled over it is irrevocable and cannot be reversed.

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