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September 30 deadline for some beneficiaries
Last Updated July 24, 2012
The designated beneficiary, for purposes of determining whose life expectancy is used to calculated post-death RMDs is determined by September 30 of the year following the year the retirement account owner dies.
Where there are multiple beneficiaries for a retirement account, the age of the oldest beneficiary is used to calculate post-death RMD amounts, if separate accounting does not occur by December 31 of the year following the year of death. Beneficiaries who have either distributed or disclaimed their share by September 30 of the year following the year the participant dies are excluded when determining the oldest beneficiary.
If a non-person, such as a charity, non-qualified trust or estate is one of multiple beneficiaries, then the period over which distributions can be taken is shortened, because the account would then be treated as not having a designated beneficiary, unless this non-person beneficiary is removed from the account by September 30 of the year following the year the account owner dies.
Tips provided by Denise Appleby