Q&A: Taxes on retirement account withdrawals

Dear Liz: I would love to give my grandchildren money, but I don’t want to pay the income tax on withdrawals from my IRA or 401(k). Will they get it tax-free when I die?

Answer: Unfortunately, no.

Withdrawals from retirement accounts are generally taxable, whether the person making the withdrawals is the original contributor or an heir. Furthermore, non-spouse beneficiaries of retirement accounts generally must withdraw the money within 10 years.

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