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Structuring IRA Trusts in Estate Planning to Comply With SECURE Act and SECURE 2.0 Rules

Modifying Trust Provisions, Minimizing Taxes and Preserving Assets, 10-Year Rule, Beneficiary Designations

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

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Conducted on Thursday, January 25, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will prepare estate planning practitioners and tax advisers to identify key estate planning issues associated with IRA trusts under the SECURE Act and SECURE 2.0. The panelist will outline the current SECURE Act's rules and requirements, the implications of SECURE Act 2.0, the asset protection and tax savings benefits, the 10-year rule, and critical considerations in modifying and structuring IRA trusts.


IRA trusts can provide significant estate planning benefits. The trust allows distributions to the trust beneficiaries to be extended over time thus allowing IRA distributions to the trust to be accumulated until distributions are made to the trust beneficiaries consistent with the grantor's intent. As such, in addition to serving other purposes often associated with trusts, IRA trusts may provide asset protection from creditors or divorce thus effectively extending out the protection that the IRA may provide prior to making the required minimum distributions required by law. Although IRA trusts may serve the many purposes offered by regular trusts, unique considerations are associated with IRA trusts because of the minimum distribution requirements associated with IRAs and any income taxes associated with such distributions.

Under the SECURE Act, owners of IRA accounts who implemented special trusts for the post-mortem preservation of their retirement plan assets are now subject to rules on their existing estate plan. Before the SECURE Act, beneficiaries of inherited IRAs could choose a lump sum withdrawal or stretch the withdrawal of required minimum distributions over their life expectancy. Such assets must now be distributed in full by the end of the 10th year after the owner's death. This requires careful planning to minimize taxes and protect beneficiaries.

The IRA trust, set up as the beneficiary of an IRA account, must comply with changes in IRA rules under the SECURE Act while also considering the impact of SECURE 2.0. Trust and estate counsel must understand these new rules and implement effective estate planning by modifying existing IRA trusts or structuring new ones.

Listen as our panel discusses best practices for maximizing the benefits of IRA trusts, identifies the key issues and advantages of these trusts in light of the SECURE Act, reviews the impact of SECURE 2.0, and offers effective drafting techniques.



  1. Advantages of IRA trusts
  2. Asset protection benefits
  3. Tax planning considerations
  4. SECURE Act rules applicable to IRAs
  5. SECURE 2.0 rules and issues
  6. Structuring IRA trusts


The panelist will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the SECURE Act rules when using IRA trusts?
  • Impact of SECURE 2.0
  • Income and estate tax considerations with IRA trusts?
  • What asset protection benefits and other benefits are available through IRA trusts?


Cunningham, James L.
James L. Cunningham, Jr.

Founder, CEO, and Lead Attorney

As a second-generation California attorney now in his third decade of practice, Mr. Cunningham and the firm he founded...  |  Read More

LaMendola, Salvatore
Salvatore J. LaMendola

Giarmarco Mullins & Horton

Mr. LaMendola specializes in charitable planning and planning for retirement plan benefits. He is the editor of the...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include course handouts.

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