Will my Roth IRA heirs have to take annual distributions?

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Q. Are non-spousal beneficiaries of a Roth IRA required to take annual distributions? (I’m the owner of the Roth IRA and live in New Jersey. The beneficiaries do not live in New Jersey. Help please!
— Unsure

A. We’re glad you’re asking.

You’re looking out for your beneficiaries, and they need to understand how this works when they inherit the account.

While the owners of Roth IRAs do not need to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) during their lifetimes, the beneficiaries of inherited IRAs must do so, said Michael Karu, a certified public accountant with Levine, Jacobs & Co. in Livingston.

“A non-spousal beneficiary must begin taking RMDs on the basis of his/her life expectancy by Dec. 31 of the year after the owner’s death,” he said.

Good luck to you and your beneficiaries.

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This story was originally published on Dec. 29, 2022.

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