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By Landon Hodges, Esq.

As part of the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by the President in December 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) is now law and is effective beginning January 1, 2020. This law makes major changes in the way required minimum distributions in IRAs and Roth IRAs are treated as you age and when they are inherited by your beneficiaries. Prior to the SECURE Act, all owners of an IRA were required to begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their IRAs once they attain age 70½. Once the account holder passed away, the RMDs a non-spouse beneficiary must take were determined based on the life expectance of the beneficiary. For example, if you designated a 40-year old child as a beneficiary of your IRA, he or she may stretch those RMDs across his or her life expectancy, which allowed beneficiaries to stagger the income taxes across a larger period of time while taking advantage of tax-free growth on the funds remaining in the IRA.

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