In an article late last year, as well as a follow-up column, I waded into the treacherous terrain of inherited IRAs. What happens if a spouse inherits a Roth IRA? What if a nonspouse beneficiary inherits a traditional IRA and the account owner had already begun taking distributions from it? The permutations--and complications--of this topic are seemingly endless, and some scenarios are definitely better than others.
To help reduce headaches for your heirs and make sure your assets are distributed in accordance with your real wishes, it pays to give due attention to your IRAs' beneficiary designations from the get-go.
Here are some of the key dos and don'ts to bear in mind as you do so.