Inheriting an IRA

A loved one's retirement savings can be a valuable gift to a beneficiary. We’ll help you through the process.

3 steps to inherit a Fidelity IRA as a beneficiary

1: Notify us of a death

Start the inheritance process by notifying us of a death, including the option to upload a death certificate if you have one.

2: Open an inherited IRA

Open the same type of IRA account you’re inheriting (Roth or traditional). Spouses may be able to skip this step.

3: Inherit the money

Once we've verified your notification with a death certificate, the inherited assets will be moved to your IRA.

Call us at 800-544-0003

We recommend calling a Fidelity Transition Services specialist to help guide you through the process. You should also consult your attorney or tax advisor.

What is an inherited IRA?

Inherited IRAs are specifically designed for individuals who are named as beneficiaries on a retirement account, like an IRA or workplace savings plan, such as a 401(k).

Why open an inherited IRA

  • Continue the retirement account's tax-deferred growth
  • Receive inherited assets with no immediate income tax impact
  • Penalty-free withdrawals at any age

Why choose Fidelity

  • Transition Services specialists to help you through the transfer process
  • No fees or minimums to open an account1
  • $0 commission for online US stock, ETF, and option trades2—plus, a wide range of investment options including mutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, and FDIC-insured CDs

Important rules to know

Required minimum distributions (RMDs)

When you inherit an IRA, many IRS rules for RMDs still apply. However, there may be additional rules based on your relationship to the person leaving you the IRA.

See the rules for required distributions

Calculate RMDs from an inherited IRA

We'll help you calculate your RMD each year and then withdraw that amount from your inherited IRA when you establish or set up a personal withdrawal plan, helping you avoid IRS penalties.

Inherited IRA Distribution Calculator


Additional resources

Inheritance scenarios

Learn about inheriting an IRA from your spouse or from a non-spouse.

Life events

Learn how to manage impactful life events, including losing a loved one.

Wealth management

Learn the ins and outs of managing an inheritance.

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