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Can IRAs be held jointly by spouses?

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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) cannot be held jointly, the account must be established on an individual basis. The IRA holder may designate his or her spouse as the primary beneficiary of the IRA. Also, the IRA holder may designate contingent beneficiaries, however certain states may require the spouse to provide written consent if the IRA holder wishes to designate any party other than the spouse as the beneficiary.

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An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) cannot be held jointly by spouses. It can only be held in one individuals name, however, there may be a couple of possible solutions depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

Some custodians will allow you to appoint a power of attorney to varying degrees. For example, a limited power of attorney typically allows the individual you appoint to make trades within the account, however, withdrawals or transfers of any sort are not allowed. Full power of attorney typically works the same way but allows withdrawals and transfers as well. As you can imagine, it is incredibly important to carefully consider your specific scenario before appointing anyone with this power. You should also check with the brokerage firm that is the custodian of your IRA to see if they can accommodate this.

Additionally, as has been mentioned, you may designate your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your IRA. You should verify the rules in your state as some have special requirements for designating anyone other than your spouse as the primary beneficiary.

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