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Converting Inherited IRA

Last Updated March 5, 2013

Question: 

I recently inherited a Traditional IRA and would like to convert a portion of it to a Roth IRA. Am I allowed to do so?

Answer: 

It depends.  If you are not the surviving spouse of the IRA owner, you are not eligible to covert the amount to a Roth IRA.

If you are the surviving spouse of the IRA owner, you can convert the amount to your own Roth IRA providing you elect to treat the Traditional IRA as you own before the conversion.  One of methods of treating the IRA as your own is by transferring the amount to your own (non-inherited) Traditional IRA. This option to treat the IRA as your own is available only to a surviving spouse beneficiary.  Caution: If the decedent was required to take an RMD for the year of death, that amount cannot be included in the conversion, and must be withdrawn before the conversion.

 

Answered By Denise Appleby, Appleby, CISP, CRC, CRPS, CRSP, APA