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IRAs are Not Transferable During Your Lifetime

Can you put your IRA into your trust? NO
IRA Transfers During Your LifetimeCan you transfer it to your spouse? NO

An IRA is an individual retirement arrangement (and you thought the "A" stood for account!). A trust is not an individual - even if it is using your Social Security number as its tax ID number. Transferring the IRA into your trust is a taxable event. You will owe income tax on the account balance transferred to the trust. Then you won’t have to worry about the IRA rules anymore because you won’t have an IRA. Your trust will simply have more assets.

An IRA is not transferable or assignable during your lifetime. You will find this in every IRA agreement, usually on the first or second page. You cannot give it to your trust, your spouse, or anyone else. It is yours until you die.

Of course there is an exception to the rule as there so often is with IRA rules. An IRA can be split between spouses as part of a divorce. The terms must be spelled out as part of the divorce decree or separation agreement. You can read more about how to split IRAs during a divorce in our white paper on the topic, found in our online store.

-By Beverly DeVeny and Jared Trexler


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Thursday's Slott Report Mailbag

Consumers: Send in Your Questions to [email protected]

Can I transfer money from my IRA to my husband's Roth IRA? I am 35, and he is 36.

Thank you!

Gail Clements

No. The only way your IRA funds can be transferred to your husband’s IRA is in a divorce or after your death. Even then, it would have to be transferred to a similar IRA, for example an IRA to IRA or a Roth IRA to another Roth IRA. In this case, you cannot transfer your IRA into your husband’s Roth IRA.