What happens if a Traditional IRA owner dies after the required beginning date?

If an IRA owner dies on or after his or her required beginning date, the minimum distribution for the year of death is determined as though the owner lived throughout the year, and the applicable distribution periods for subsequent distribution calendar years are generally the owner's remaining life expectancy as of his or her birthday during the year of death, less one year for each year after the year of death. If an owner has a designated beneficiary, however, the applicable distribution period is the longer of the period based on the owner's life expectancy or the remaining life expectancy of the designated beneficiary. Assume Jane dies during 2008, the year of her seventy-fifth birthday, leaving an IRA to her husband, who attains age 72 during 2008. The applicable distribution period for 2008, the year of Jane's death, is 22.9–the period under the Uniform Lifetime Table for a 75-year-old (22.9). The applicable distribution period for 2009 is the longer of (1) Jane's remaining life expectancy as of her birthday during the calendar year of her death (13.4), less one, or (2) the husband's remaining life expectancy as of his birthday during 2007 (14.8). Since 14.8 is longer than 12.4, the applicable distribution period for 2009 is 14.8, and the minimum distribution for the year is the account as of the end of 2008, divided by 14.8.

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