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When a Roth IRA May Be a Terrible Asset to Inherit
Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye ViewLink to more items from this source
Jan. 21, 2015
"If the beneficiary's tax rates are higher, it's clearly beneficial for the current IRA owner to go ahead and convert the IRA, paying the taxes now at current rates, and leaving the (high income) beneficiary a tax-free account. However, if the reality is that the beneficiary's tax rates are actually lower -- perhaps because the original IRA owner's wealth is being spread across multiple beneficiaries, because the beneficiary simply has less income and assets, or maybe just due to the fact that the beneficiary lives in a different state that has a lower tax rate -- then the best thing a (higher-income) IRA owner can do is simply to leave a traditional IRA to the beneficiary and let the beneficiary pay the taxes at his/her own lower tax rates!"

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