Save time with our cheat sheets, fact sheets, checklists & books!

February 22, 2020

Eligible Designated Beneficiary

Your Guide


An eligible designated beneficiary is a beneficiary designated as beneficiary of the IRA, by the IRA owner or determined under the IRA agreement and is :

A. the surviving spouse of the IRA owner

B. a child of the IRA owner who has not reached the age of majority, as defined under state law. Once the child reaches the age of majority, that child becomes a regular designated beneficiary, and has 10 years (after reaching the age of majority) to distribute the inherited IRA

C. a designated beneficiary who is disabled- which generally means meeting the social security administration’s definition of disability

D. a chronically ill individual – subject to meeting certain specific requirements, or

E. an individual not described in any of the preceding requirements, who is not more than 10 years younger than the IRA owner.

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


Keep Learning

What is the 10-Year Rule for beneficiaries?

Definition The beneficiary 10-year rule is the maximum period that designated beneficiaries may keep inherited retirement accounts in a beneficiary account. Examples include beneficiary IRAs,

What is the 5-Year Rule for beneficiaries?

Definition For beneficiaries who inherit retirement accounts,  a common question asked is “What is the 5-Year Rule for beneficiaries?” The beneficiary five-year rule is the

Be among the first to know when

IRA Rules