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October 29, 2010

October 31- Deadline for Trust Beneficiary


Generally, if a trust is the beneficiary of a retirement account, the retirement account is treated as not having a designated beneficiary. When a retirement account does not have a designated beneficiary, the distribution options for the beneficiary are more restrictive. There is an exception to this rule for a trust beneficiary, if the trust is a qualified trust. Under this exception, a qualified trust has the same distribution options as those which would apply to the oldest beneficiary of the trust had that person been named as the direct beneficiary of the retirement account.

In order for trust to be qualified, it must meet certain requirements. One of those requirements is that certain documentation must be provided to the IRA custodian or plan trustee by October 31 of the year that follows the year in which the retirement account owner died.
For more on what defines a trust as a qualified trust, including the documentation which must be provided to the custodian/trustee, see

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.


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