Retirement accounts were created to provide investment vehicles for individuals so that after they have stopped working, they could access their funds to cover expenses.
In order to prevent a legal or financial predicament, it is imperative that an account beneficiary get reliable information from a qualified professional who is familiar with IRS regulations.
Bill Fay is a journalism veteran with a nearly four-decade career in reporting and writing for daily newspapers, magazines and public officials.
(Surviving spouses have 60 days after the death to roll over the money.) Required minimum distributions would begin when the surviving spouse turns 70 ½.
This option works best if an individual dies before the age of 70 ½ and the surviving spouse has not reached 59 ½.
The flexibility that a beneficiary has in terms of what can be done with an inherited retirement account, as well as the tax consequences that accompany the bequest, depends on many different factors.