NOW there is a 10- year clean-out rule for many beneficiaries of inherited IRAs. The IRA funds must be distributed to them within 10 years of the owners death. This new clean-out rule doesn’t mean that the payouts must be distributed evenly over a 10-year period. The beneficiary can wait until year 10 to take all the money. Some exceptions do apply for beneficiaries who are surviving spouses or minor children of the account owner or beneficiaries who are chronically ill, disabled or not more than 10 years younger than the deceased IRA owner. For minor children, the exception applies only until the child reaches the age of 18. The rule for spouses does not change. Unlike other beneficiaries, a surviving spouse still has the option to take an inherited IRA as his or her own. One other important note: These new rules were not made retroactive. They apply to beneficiaries of IRA owners who die in 2020 or later. For individuals who inherited an IRA before 2020, the old rules continue to apply, so that these lucky beneficiaries can still take advantage of the stretch IRA strategy.