Robert F. Morris of Stark & Stark.

One of the few bipartisan bills that got through the heavily divided congress in 2019 was the SECURE Act, a law that changes how Individual Retirement Accounts work. Some of those changes affect inherited retirement accounts, which in turn affects estate planning.

Stark and Stark attorney Robert F. Morris will lead two free workshops on the most significant changes. The events will take place Saturday, February 1, from 9 to 10 a.m., and Tuesday, February 4, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Stark & Stark at 993 Lenox Drive in Lawrenceville. Register. For more information, visit www.starkseminar.com.

According to Morris, the most important change is the elimination of the “stretch,” also known as the “life expectancy” payout option for many retirement account beneficiaries. Simply stated, the stretch payout option permits the deceased owner’s account to be slowly distributed over the life expectancy of a designated beneficiary. The SECURE Act changes these rules for decedents dying after December 31, 2019.

Most non-spouse beneficiaries, with some exceptions, must withdraw the entire inherited account within 10 years of the owner’s death. The seminar explores the impact of these changes, including their effects on existing estate planning documents. Morris will review potential options that every retirement account owner should consider in light of these changes.

Morris, a shareholder in Stark & Stark’s trusts & estates group, holds a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Vanderbilt University.

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