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Is a Roth IRA the “Cadillac” of Assets to Leave for Heirs?

Jan 15,2015

Is a Roth IRA the “Cadillac” of Assets to Leave for Heirs?

If you’re looking down the road to retirement, you may be wondering which of your accounts you should tap into first, and which you should leave possibly set aside to pass on to beneficiaries. Those individuals with traditional retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, Roth IRAs, and a 401k may feel overwhelmed by the options, but it all depends on your estate planning goals.

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For the most part, Roth IRAs seem to be good accounts to leave behind for others. Since the distributions can be taken out tax-free and can be stretched over the course of a lifetime, the majority of the original investment can continue growing tax free during that same period. Since the federal estate tax exemption for a married couple is more than $10 million, Roth IRAs may be more likely to be free of estate taxes and income taxes. For that reason, it could be worth your time to convert other traditional retirement accounts into a Roth for the ultimate benefit or heirs.

Doing so, however, requires understanding that you’re probably going to have to leave that money alone for at least ten years, so don’t make a decision without careful consideration of your own cash flow situation. If you convert and begin taking income out, the potential growth for that IRA is halted. To learn more about estate planning strategies that leave a legacy behind for family, call us at 732-521-9455.

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