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Inherited Retirement Benefits: Avoiding Pitfalls for Executors, Trustees and Beneficiaries

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide trust and estate counsel on the complexities of planning with inherited retirement benefits. The panel will discuss mechanisms to avoid pitfalls concerning inherited retirement benefits such as account titling, plan transfers, required distributions, basis reporting, special tax options, and other essential items to ensure optimum planning.


Retirement assets, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and other defined-contribution accounts, can hold significant amounts that can become part of an estate. For thorough planning, trusts and estates counsel must account for the distribution of these retirement account assets to ensure alignment with the overall estate plan.

Generally, retirement assets transfer directly to beneficiaries without passing through probate but are often subject to federal and state income taxes and possible estate taxes. This requires estate planning with a focus on account titling, plan-to-plan transfers, use of trusts, basis reporting, utilizing deductions, and recognizing required distribution rules.

Listen as our panel discusses the key estate planning challenges of inherited retirement assets and offers methods to avoid unintended administration mishaps and tax liability.



  1. Estate planning considerations for inherited retirement benefits
  2. Special considerations for IRAs, 401(k)s and other defined benefit plans
  3. Tax planning options


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key estate planning considerations for inherited retirement assets?
  • What obstacles are present in planning for inherited IRA accounts?
  • What are the special considerations for planning for inherited 401(k)s and other defined benefit plans?
  • What are the issues for account titling, plan transfers, and required distributions?
  • What are the tax planning options?
  • Should bequests to trusts be considered?


Clear, Michael
Michael T. Clear

Wiggin and Dana

Mr. Clear focuses his practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate litigation, and...  |  Read More

Nicholls, Erin
Erin D. Nicholls

Wiggin and Dana

Ms. Nicholls focuses her practice on estate planning, philanthropy, trusts and estate administration services.

 |  Read More

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