Beneficiary IRA

For investors who've inherited a retirement account:

  • Keep assets tax-deferred
  • Pay taxes only upon distribution
  • Use the Inherited IRA Tool for assistance
  • Enjoy fast, easy withdrawals at age 59½ with free cash management features1


talk to a Beneficiary Services Representative


account opening minimums

Why a Beneficiary IRA?

Eligibility information

Anyone who has inherited an IRA or qualified retirement plan

Keep inherited assets tax-deferred

Pay taxes only when distributions are taken

No annual IRA fees and no account minimums

Transaction fees, fund expenses, brokerage commissions, and service fees may apply

Access to a wide range of investment choices

Choose from a wide range of stocks, bonds, options, 7,000+ mutual funds, and ETFs

Trade more, pay less

With E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley, you pay $0 commissions for online US-listed stock, ETF, mutual fund, and options trades. Here’s a quick overview of our clear, competitive per-trade pricing.1

Beneficiary IRA FAQs

See all FAQs

What are the eligibility requirements for Beneficiary IRA?

  • Must be the beneficiary of an IRA or qualified retirement plan
  • Generally, spouse beneficiaries can roll over assets into an IRA of their own, or a Beneficiary IRA. If funds are rolled into a Beneficiary IRA, a spouse beneficiary may need to begin taking annual required minimum distributions, depending on their age and the age of the original account holder.
  • Generally, non-spouse beneficiaries, trusts, and estates may roll over assets into a Beneficiary IRA. Annual required minimum distributions will need to be taken, or the account closed by the end of the 5th year following the original account holder’s death.
  • Withdrawal options for beneficiaries can be complex. Call the Beneficiary Services team at 1-888-402-0653 for assistance.


How can an inherited retirement account be moved to E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley?

A Beneficiary IRA can be opened by completing the Beneficiary IRA Application, and send the application in with a certified or original death certificate, plus the Beneficiary Distribution Request Form to move the funds from the decedent’s account to the new Beneficiary IRA. The online transfer form can be used to initiate the transfer of funds from another firm to E*TRADE.

Learn more about your choices for inherited IRAs.

Do all of the inherited funds need to be withdrawn by the beneficiary?

An individual does not have to withdraw all of the funds immediately. After the assets have been transferred to a Beneficiary IRA, the beneficiary has multiple options. One option is to withdraw a certain amount of money each year, based on life expectancy. An individual has until December 31st of the year following the death of the original IRA owner to start taking distributions. Another option is to forgo annual distributions, but withdraw all funds within five years. Use the Inherited IRA tool to see guidelines for withdrawal and determine the amount of any annual withdrawals.

Learn more about your choices for inherited IRAs.

What are my options with inherited IRA assets?

There are several options available to Inherited IRA beneficiaries. The options depend on whether the beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse, and how old the original account holder was when they passed away. Use the Inherited IRA tool to help understand the options.

Explore similar accounts

Traditional IRA

Tax-deductible retirement contributions

Earnings potentially grow tax-deferred until you withdraw them in retirement.

Roth IRA5

Tax-free growth potential retirement investing

Pay no income taxes or tax penalties on qualified distributions if you meet certain requirements.

Managed Portfolios

Professional management, diversified portfolios

Tap into professional money management from E*TRADE Capital Management. Choose from an array of customized managed portfolios to help meet your financial needs.