Estate Planning and Rules for Minimum Distributions From Retirement Plans and IRAs

Navigating Rules for Different Retirement Accounts, Computing Required Distributions, and Avoiding Tax Penalties

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE/CPE course will guide estate planning counsel in navigating the complexities involved in minimum distribution rules from retirement plans and IRAs. Attendees will learn how to compute required distributions, and navigate lifetime rules and post-death options for beneficiaries. 


Estate planning counsel are often faced with the question of how to handle required minimum distributions (RMDs) in the year of death if the decedent did not take the distribution during that year. RMD rules are complex, and significant tax penalties can result from the failure to take a required distribution in any year.

Counsel must be cognizant of the varying rules for RMDs for different tax-advantaged retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s and business-sponsored retirement plans. Matters become still more complex when a client has more than one type of retirement account subject to RMD rules, and advisors must understand the inter-relation between various account types in determining how much to take as an RMD.

Estate planning attorneys should know how to compute required distributions both during a participant’s life and after death, when distributions should begin, lifetime rules, post-death options for beneficiaries, and how the RMD rules apply to retirement benefits payable to trusts.

Listen as our experienced panel provides guidance on ways to handle minimum distributions from retirement plans, compute RMDs, and avoid tax penalties. The panelists will integrate a discussion of lifetime rules, post-death options for beneficiaries, and how RMD rules apply to benefits payable to trusts.



  1. Compute RMDs during participant’s life and post-death
  2. When to begin distributions
  3. Lifetime rules for different accounts
  4. Post-death options
  5. RMD rules application to retirement benefits payable to trusts


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Why are lifetime rules beneficial to retirees?
  • What post-death options are available to beneficiaries, including the surviving spouse, children and estate as beneficiary?
  • How do the RMD rules apply to retirement benefits payable to trusts?


Kristen M. Lynch
Kristen M. Lynch

Fowler White Burnett

As a shareholder in the Firm’s Trusts & Estates group, Ms. Lynch focuses her practice on estate planning,...  |  Read More

Tippett , Scott
Scott K. Tippett

The Tippett Law Firm

Mr. Tippett's practice focuses on wealth law, as a comprehensive and integrated approach to domestic and...  |  Read More

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