As the child boomers retire, they are the very first generation that will retire with big Individual Retirement Account accounts. When the boomers do their estate planning, one of the considerations in such planning is who to name the recipient of the big IRA account. One consideration for such an option is certainly to try to lessen the tax problem on their estates.

As released in the Naperville Sun – January 22, 2008
Most boomers do not recognize that the cash that they have conserved in their worker advantage accounts or Individual Retirement Account accounts are subject to earnings taxes by the recipient, along with estate taxes on the account upon the death of the Individual Retirement Account owner. If both the estate of the IRA holder and the recipient of the balance of the account are in the maximum tax brackets for federal estate taxes and earnings taxes, the employee benefit account or IRA account might be taxed up to 85 percent of the total worth of that account.

One option is to leave the Individual Retirement Account (or separate the Individual Retirement Account into several IRA accounts and leave among the Individual Retirement Account accounts) straight to charity upon the death of the IRA holder. Under the current tax law, the estate should be entitled to a charitable tax deduction for the amount in the account.
In order to decrease or postpone income tax and protect an IRA account from creditors after the owner’s death, the very best thing to do might be to leave the account to a trust. Given that numerous recipients are targets of potential lenders from failed marriages to unsuccessful organisations to unsettled financial institution concerns, the IRA owner might well want to protect the recipient from the loss of the IRA account to these creditors by leaving this IRA to a trust.

With regard to lowering or additional postponing income taxes on the account, the key is that an Individual Retirement Account trust should be structured such that the needed distributions are extended gradually, allowing a beneficiary to delay earnings taxes. The objective needs to be to spread the circulations over the life span of the youngest beneficiary, which must enable the longest deferral time. The IRA owner can designate either a channel trust or a build-up trust as the “designated recipient” of the IRA account. A channel trust immediately certifies as a designated beneficiary under the IRS safe harbor arrangements. If you have a recipient who has a gambling dependency or existing recognized financial institutions, a conduit trust may not be adequate to secure the beneficiary. Rather, your option may be a build-up trust, in which case you require to discover a lawyer who understands the guidelines, i.e. the trust should be valid under state law, be irrevocable upon death, have recognizable recipients and be provided to the plan administrator by Oct. 31 following the year of death.
The biggest issue is the beneficiary being recognizable. If any recipient of an accumulation trust is a charity, the trust can not extend the circulations in time, as the IRS considers that charities do not have a life span. If the named beneficiary holds a power of consultation under the trust, the trust also stops working to qualify. It is more likely to have an accumulation trust qualify if the Individual Retirement Account is left to a standalone accumulation trust which becomes irrevocable at the owner’s death, ideally a trust for one beneficiary.