Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Inherited IRA


I live in Texas and have inherited an IRA account from my mother, also from Texas. Is there ever any tax advantage to signing the IRA over to her estate or is that even possible? Thanks for your time.


Thanks for your question.

No, you cannot sign it over to the estate, nor would there be any reason to do so.  

1) You can cash in the IRA and pay tax on the distribution.
2) You can elect to take the entire account balance in the IRA by the end of the fifth year following the year of your mother's death. No distributions need to be made before the end of the fifth year. This election is only available if she died before the date RMD begins.
3) You can leave the IRA in her name . RMD is determined as follows.
• If she was already receiving RMD at the time of death, you can take out the distributions over the longer of:
– Her life based on the Single Lifetime Table using your age as of your birthday in the year following the year her death, reduced by one for each subsequent year, or your life based on the single lifetime using her age as of his birthday in the year of death, reduced by one for each subsequent year.
• If she was not yet receiving RMD at the time of death, you must take out the distributions over your own life based on the Single Lifetime Table.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

©2017 All rights reserved.