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I am going to recatagorize this under "Tax" and open it up to experts in that category for you. Do not respond to this post as it will delay an answer.
You have been advised of the trust being the owner and not the beneficiary because if the designated beneficiary is a non-spouse (i.e., any other living breathing human being besides the annuity owner’s surviving spouse), the beneficiary can stretch distributions over his/her life expectancy beginning in the year after death; but,
if the beneficiary is a non-designated beneficiary, the annuity must be liquidated within 5 years of the annuity owner’s death.