Community Property Aspects of IRAs and Qualified Plans
Probate and Property, September/October 1999, Volume 13, Number 5
By S. Andrew Pharies
S. Andrew Pharies is an associate with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP in San Diego, California, and is Chair of the Probate Division's Estate Planning Issues for Owners of Marital and Community Property (B-5) Committee.
Over the years, employee contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, have largely replaced defined benefit plans as the primary retirement vehicle for American workers. As workers retire, many of them choose to withdraw their accumulated retirement savings from their companies' plans and place those funds in IRAs. As the baby boom generation ages and retires, more and more families will look to their retirement savings, whether held in qualified plans or in IRAs, as their primary assets. To effectively advise clients with substantial retirement savings, estate planning lawyers must understand the legal and tax issues relating to those assets.