The SECURE and RESA acts are currently being considered in Congress. These acts may impact stretch IRAs. A stretch IRA is an estate planning strategy that extends the tax-deferred condition of an inherited IRA when it is passed to a non-spouse beneficiary. This strategy lets the account continue its tax-deferred growth over a long period of time.
Congress is considering legislation with the SECURE and RESA Acts, that would eliminate the ability of children to create a stretch IRA, one that would let them to stretch distributions from the inherited IRA over their lifetimes. The proposed SECURE and RESA Acts under consideration state that the maximum deferral period will be 10 years. If the beneficiary is a minor, the period would be 10 years or age 21.
If Congress does pass the SECURE and RESA acts, people will need to change the way they financially plan for their retirement accounts. If a parent doesn’t need to spend any of her Required Minimum Distributions, does it make sense to do a gradual Roth IRA conversion and use the RMDs to pay taxes on the conversion? Or should the parent invest the RMDs in a brokerage account?
There are several options in this situation, according to nj.com’s recent article, “With Stretch IRAs on the way out, how can I plan for my children’s inheritance?”
As with many things related to financial and estate planning, the best planning strategy for a parent would depend on her overall finances and what she wants for her children’s inheritance.
The conversion to a Roth may be a good planning move if the parent’s tax bracket makes the income tax rate reasonable. Putting the money in a brokerage account is also an option.
A parent may also want to think about using the RMD proceeds to purchase a life insurance policy held by an irrevocable trust for the benefit of her children.
It’s best to contact an experienced estate planning attorney, so he or she can review the details of the parent’s finances and help her choose the best options for her situation.
Reference: nj.com (October 15, 2019) “With Stretch IRAs on the way out, how can I plan for my children’s inheritance?”