Many people are not prepared for the shift from employee to retiree. From a financial point of view, if you do not have a pri...Read more
IRS Simplifies Minimum Distributions From Retirement Accounts
- September 26th, 2001
If you have funds in a tax-deferred retirement plan such as an IRA, when you reach age 70 you must begin taking minimum distributions from that plan or pay a hefty additional tax on the amount that should have been distributed. Until recently, structuring these minimum distributions was a complicated business that if not done properly it could have serious tax consequences. New rules issued by the Internal Revenue Service, however, have streamlined the process considerably and should reduce the required distributions for most people.
One of the difficult choices the old rules required was which of several life expectancy tables to use. Under the new rules, beginning with required 2001 distributions, you can consult one simple chart to determine your required distributions. This change in the rules will reduce almost every account owner's lifetime minimum distributions. This in turn will allow you to accumulate more money in your retirement accounts, tax-deferred.
Another fateful choice under the old rules was the choice of your beneficiary for the retirement plan funds. You had to name your beneficiary when you began making distributions, and failure to name one usually resulted in your heirs taking distribution of the entire retirement plan within five years and paying income taxes on those distributions during that time.
The new rules postpone the date for determining designated beneficiaries until December 31 of the year following the year of the retirement account owner's death. This means that your designation of a beneficiary (or your failure to name one) will rarely result in the kinds of tax-planning disasters that were common under the old rules. In most cases, your heirs will be able to take steps that will ensure deferral of taxes on retirement accounts over their lifetimes.
For more details on the new rules, as well as other retirement planning tips, go to our Retirement Planning section.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
Ron M. Landsman, P.A.
Ron M. Landsman has been practicing elder law since 1983, before it was known as elder law, originally with Landsman and Laster, Washington, D.C., then Landsman, Eakes and Laster, also in Arlington, VA, and since 1990 in his own practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been among the most active members of the...