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Inheriting a 401(k)

Last year (2007), the IRS permitted the company controlling a 401(k) to allow a non-spouse beneficiary to roll it over to a beneficiary IRA. Now that option is mandatory. If you are the non-spouse beneficiary of a 401(k) you may demand that it be rolled to a beneficiary IRA and you may then stretch out the withdrawals over your lifetime. This is an important option for those whom it impacts. Prior rules allowed a forced withdrawal within 5 years of the account holder passing on.

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