AuthorSeymour Goldberg
ProfessionSenior partner in the law firm of Goldberg & Goldberg, P.C., Woodbury, New York
Many taxpayers have accumulated a considerable amount of assets in
their retirement accounts. These assets may be in their 401(k), another
type of qualified plan, a 403(b) arrangement, a 457 governmental plan, a
traditional IRA, and a Roth IRA.
Often taxpayers roll over their retirement assets from an employer
sponsored retirement plan into a rollover IRA for tax planning purposes
and for other reasons. These assets should be part of an overall estate
plan if they are substantial. Even if these assets are not substantial, you
should know how the basic retirement distribution rules work.
The problem with the concept of estate planning with retirement
assets is the fact that many people fail to address the issue during their
lifetime. Often the taxpayer relies upon an advisor who may not know
many of the rules. In addition, the beneficiaries of an inherited IRA may
want you, as a practitioner, to advise them as to the post- death retirement
distribution rules as well.
The purpose of this guide is to alert you, as a practitioner, as to many
of the retirement distribution rules that you must know in order to ef-
fectively implement an estate plan that includes retirement- type assets. A
number of advisors (but not all) are trained in the area of retirement dis-
tribution planning. These rules are important and you need to be aware
of them.
This guide assumes that you, the practitioner, have a limited knowl-
edge of the rules. Many of your clients may ask you questions about
retirement distribution planning. You need to be responsive.
Like any attorney who is involved in retirement distribution plan-
ning, both as an author and practitioner, I can say that there is a lot to
know and you must be alert, ask questions, and keep current. Don’t as-
sume anything. Be careful and good luck.

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