The SECURE Act of 2019: Does it Affect You?



As you may be aware, on Friday, December 20, 2019, President Trump signed legislation that contains provisions from the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “ SECURE Act,” or “ Act”). The SECURE Act includes several provisions affecting Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”).

No IRA? No Problem.

If you do not have an IRA, this change in the law will not affect you and your estate planning documents. If you have an IRA that is worth over $500,000 or makes up a substantial part of your overall estate plan, and your IRA designates a trust as a primary or contingent beneficiary, we recommend you contact us soon to identify any necessary updates to your estate planning documents.

Elimination of Stretch IRAs

The most important change enacted by the SECURE Act is the elimination of “Stretch IRAs,” or “life expectancy payouts” for most beneficiaries.  Prior to the SECURE Act, designated beneficiaries were permitted to take required minimum distributions from inherited IRAs over the course of their life.  This option is now available only for eligible designated beneficiaries, who are either (1) a surviving spouse of the IRA participant, (2) a disabled or chronically ill individual, (3) an individual less than ten years younger than the IRA participant, or (4) a minor child of the participant. Note that minor children may only use this method until they attain the age of majority. All other designated beneficiaries must withdraw the full value of the inherited IRA within ten years of the participant’s death. The SECURE Act will also apply to trusts who are named beneficiaries of an IRA.

Further questions?

If you would like to discuss the SECURE Act or update your documents to adapt to the new law, please contact Patrick M. Griffin at (904) 483-2455 or Julie E. Breuer at (904) 483-2445.


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