Inheriting an IRA means that different rules apply to various circumstances as in the case of a spouse versus non-spousal beneficiaries. Regardless of who is inheriting the IRA, the heir must take the RMD (required minimum distribution) for the year the account owner died. The full RMD must be withdrawn by December 31 in the year the account owner died, even if he or she died at the beginning of the year. Beneficiaries must contact the custodian of the account and submit a death certificate. If the account owner died before he or she was required to begin distributions, then the beneficiaries do not need to take an RMD.
Naturally, the next two questions are 1) where does the distribution go when it is taken out and 2) what the tax implications for the heir are?
Death isn’t the End of Your Retirement Account