This Q-and-A discusses why it's important for a fiduciary to retitle an inherited IRA account if it's left to the decedent's estate or the estate otherwise becomes the beneficiary. After the IRA owner dies, the executor must establish the estate's ownership with the IRA provider, as would be required for any beneficiary of an IRA of a deceased person. The executor can't take any action with regard to the account without formally registering the account in the estate's name and retitling the account by presenting a certificate of appointment, providing contact information and the estate's tax ID, and signing the IRA provider's standard form account agreement.

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