You may have heard that you can't name a trust as a beneficiary of your IRA—but in fact that is a perfectly legal option for IRA owners. But whether you should do it is a completely different story and requires further analysis.
IRAs can be complicated enough on their own without bringing a trust into the equation. And if you do name a trust as a beneficiary and then make a mistake with your account, the tax consequences could be devastating—so proceed with extreme caution. You'll need to work with an attorney experienced in these matters.
Why would you want to name a trust as your IRA beneficiary? It's not a tax-saving move and indeed could increase your tax bill. Still, there are valid reasons for using this planning technique. The primary benefit is protection against the IRA assets being squandered or attached by creditors. For example, you might want to pass money in an IRA to someone who is under age 21 and may not have much experience handling financial affairs or to a family member who is known to be a spendthrift. Having the account pass into a trust could enable a trustee to control how the money is distributed.