Does the SECURE Act Affect Your Estate Plan?

05.01.2020 Written by: Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd.

Does the SECURE Act affect your Estate Plan?

We want to make you aware of a recent change that may affect your estate plan. On January 1, 2020, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law. This law may reduce the amount of time a beneficiary has to withdraw distributions from a decedent plan member’s IRA and may have a significant impact on a beneficiary’s income tax liability.

What about “stretching” an IRA?

Specifically, many estate plans leveraged the “stretch IRA,” extending a beneficiary’s distributions from a decedent’s retirement plan out over a long period of time. Applying this strategy, beneficiaries minimized the amounts they withdrew each year – along with the corresponding income tax they paid on the distributions – by taking small distributions out over their lifetimes. The SECURE Act, however, requires most beneficiaries to withdraw the entire amount of the pre-tax retirement account within ten years of the death of the plan memberThis will likely increase the amounts withdrawn each year and increase tax obligations.

We encourage you to take this opportunity to contact us to schedule a time to review your estate plan to identify any concerns the SECURE Act might present within your plan, and, if necessary, to make updates to your documents. 

We are here to help you, and we are honored when you refer us to advise and assist your own circle of influence with their legal services needs.
Be safe, and be well.


Susan T. Peterson-Lerdahl

Susan T. Peterson-Lerdahl is a shareholder in the Maple Grove, Minnesota Law Firm of Henningson & Snoxell, Ltd. She is Chair of the firm’s Estate Planning Department and has years of experience counseling individuals and families in estate planning, elder law, probate and trust administration as well as family business succession planning.

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