Trusteed IRA

Trusteed IRA



A Trusteed IRA, also known as an individual retirement trust (IRT), is a trust account that provides preservation and control of a client’s IRA assets. It allows clients to combine their estate planning and retirement goals within a single framework.



  • The Trusteed IRA gives IRA owners the opportunity to restrict payouts to beneficiaries, assuring that assets remain under the care and management of their chosen advisor while deferring taxes for many years.
  • Payouts can be customized from one beneficiary to another.
  • The Trusteed IRA helps create a dialogue between the advisor and client about estate planning, positioning the advisor as a valuable, holistic resource.
  • At no additional cost over a traditional IRA , the Trusteed IRA is a high-value service that we provide.



Primary Beneficiaries – Persons who will receive the Trust Account balance in the Individual Retirement Trust (IRT) upon the death the account owner. 


Contingent Beneficiaries – Persons who will receive the Trust Account balance in the IRT upon the death of the account owner if none of the Primary Beneficiaries survive the account owner (or if the account owner selects the per stirpes allocation for the Primary Beneficiaries and none of the lineal descendants survive the account owner).


Per Stirpes Allocation Option – This allocation option means equal shares to the primary beneficiaries’ children, with the descendants of a deceased child receiving the deceased child’s share.


Pro Rata Allocation Option – If any primary beneficiary(ies) dies before the account owner, his or her interest shall terminate completely, and the percentage shares of any remaining primary beneficiary(ies) shall be increased equal to their respective share.


No Surviving Primary or Contingent Beneficiary(ies) – If no primary beneficiary, if no contingent beneficiary, and if the account owner elected “per stirpes” allocation option for any beneficiary, no lineal descendant of such beneficiary survives the account owner, the balance of the Trust Account shall be distributed to the spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to the legal representative of the Estate.


Restricted Payout Options

a. Pay Only the RMD – Pay to or for the benefit of the Beneficiary only the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD).


b. Pay the RMD Plus Discretionary – Pay to or for the benefit of the Beneficiary only the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) plus any additional amounts as necessary for the Beneficiary’s health, support, maintenance and education, taking into account the Beneficiary’s other available resources, as determined by the Trustee, in its sole and absolute discretion.


c. Pay the Greater of the RMD or Unitrust – Pay to or for the benefit of the Beneficiary only the greater of the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) or an annual unitrust amount equaling 4% of the net fair market value of the IRA assets, valued as of the first business day of each taxable year.


d. Pay the Greater of the RMD or Net Income Annually – Pay to or for the benefit of the Beneficiary only the greater of the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) or all of the net income annually.


e. None





What is the key benefit of establishing a trusteed IRA rather than a custodial IRA?

The IRA owner can control the distribution of the IRA assets after death without needing to create an additional trust for that purpose.


Do trusteed IRAs offer any tax advantages that custodial IRAs don’t?

No. The tax rules for trusteed IRAs and custodial IRAs are the same.


Is there a downside to using a trusteed IRA over a custodial IRA?

An IRA owner can elect to have a trusteed IRA payout directly to a beneficiary upon their death or to have it retained in trust with payouts restricted as they elect. 


So, there is greater flexibility. However, trustee’s standard fees will apply upon initial IRA owner’s incapacity, and/or if the IRA remains in the trust after the initial IRA owner’s death. Note: To restrict payouts of a custodial IRA after account owner’s death, a separate trust typically needs to be drafted by an attorney during account owner’s lifetime and named as beneficiary of the IRA.


What is the target market for the trusteed IRA?

Clients with $500,000 to $3 million in IRA assets that represent the bulk of their estate are the typical target.


Is there a minimum account size for the trusteed IRA?

There is not a minimum to establish a trusteed IRA. However, once the IRA owner dies the trustee (PTC) reserves the right to pay out the balance directly to beneficiaries—even if a restricted payout is chosen—if the account is deemed too small to administer or does not meet PTC’s minimum account size.  


Can a trusteed IRA be moved once established?

The IRA owner may transfer, withdraw funds, or close the account during their lifetime, subject to the same rules as a custodial IRA.


When the trusteed IRA owner dies, can a beneficiary move the IRA?

Once the IRA owner dies, the trust becomes irrevocable. It may be possible for the IRA beneficiary to move the IRA to a different trustee (subject to their acceptance of the trust’s terms), but the terms of the trust (such as payout restrictions), will remain in effect.


Can PTC use trusteed IRA assets for the benefit of a disabled account owner and/or their family?

Yes. A trustee can be authorized to continue to use the assets for the benefit of a disabled account owner and/or their family, in accordance with IRS rules regarding IRA distributions. 


Once beneficiary designations and payout options have been selected, can they be changed?

Yes, the account owner can change beneficiaries and payout options at any time during their lifetime.


Can payout options vary by beneficiary? For example, if there are two beneficiaries, can one be restricted (held in trust) and the other not restricted (paid out)?

Payout options can vary between beneficiaries.  For example, one child can be given more liberal access to funds than another.  In some case, parents feel that it is in the best interests of a particular child to restrict the availability of funds over time.


Contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible in the contribution year, with current income tax due at withdrawal.  Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax in addition to current income tax.


This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.


LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.


Sarah has been working at Southwest Investment Advisors since October of 2017.

Hers is the first friendly face you will encounter when visiting the office.

Sarah’s responsibilities include assisting clients with online access, processing account documents, scheduling meetings and assisting in all aspects of client services.

When she is not working here you may find Sarah on the shooting range serving as an assistant instructor and safety coach.

She has two children, son Zach is a graduate of the University of Arizona and daughter Paige who will graduate in 2019.


Kataya has been with Southwest Investment Advisors since January of 2017.

She assists Alix with portfolio construction, rebalancing, and trading.

Kataya also plans our company’s client appreciation events and assists with the company website.

In her free time Kataya enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, traveling to new places, and getting involved with local events.


Lacey has been with Southwest Investment Advisors since 2007 and has been the Operations Manager since 2012.

Her primary duties are assisting clients, assisting Advisors, processing paperwork, and working with our back office at LPL Financial.

When she’s not working she enjoys riding horses and spending time with her husband, Dustin, her two small children, and her dogs, Tebow and Ellie.

Lacey and her family really enjoy traveling, spending time outdoors, and watching her dad, Robert Wright, play the banjo.


Robert has been an Advisor since 2012 following in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and graduated Summa cum Laude from BIOLA. After working several years in Social Services Robert has a distinct perspective when helping people create and manage their financial goals.

When Robert is not working, life is all about family. Along with his lovely wife, Robin, four beautiful children and their dog, he enjoys traveling in the family bus, which is always an adventure. He enjoys meditating, praying, journaling and plays the guitar daily to maintain his sanity!

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Licensing and Regulatory​:

Licenses: Series 7, Series 63, Series 31 held through LPL Financial and the Series 66 is held through LPL Financial and Southwest Investment Advisors


Rob is an original co-founder, has been in the industry since 1994. He has degrees in English and Liberal Studies as well as a Teaching Certificate from California State San Bernardino.

Before becoming a Financial Advisor, Rob was a member of the New Christy Minstrels and he continues to perform with his banjos and other stringed instruments in concert as a member of the Wildcat Jazz Band throughout North America and as a guest artist with local symphonies and at various music festivals. Rob and his wife, Linda have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Rob has since retired and no longer has duties at Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc.


Original co-founder, Bart has worked as an Investment Advisor since 1983.  He was with Dean Witter/Morgan Stanley for fifteen years, serving as Branch Manager during the final four years, before moving to Piper Jaffray as Branch Manager for an additional three-and-a-half years before co-founding Southwest Investment Advisors.

In 2008, Bart become one of the first 200 professionals obtaining the industry’s newest designation, the Certified Wealth Strategist® designation, and administered by Cannon Financial Institute.

In May, 2010 Bart was selected for the distinction of Outstanding Advisor of the Year by Registered Rep Magazine, one of 10 financial advisors selected by the editors for 2010. From hundreds of nominees, the winning advisors have demonstrated both business success and leadership in serving as guides to other financial advisors and as active participants in community activities.

He is active in his church and served as President of the Board for Gospel Rescue Mission of Tucson from 2007 – 2010 and 2015 – 2018.  Bart also has served on the Board of Adjustments for the town of Oro Valley from 2002 – 2008.  Bart and his wife Marcella have three grown children and several grandchildren. Together they enjoy wine tasting, scuba diving, and travel.

Bart has since retired and has no responsibilities at Southwest Investment Advisors, Inc.


Rick is in charge of the managerial duties at Southwest Investment Advisors.  As a Financial Advisor, he meets with new and existing clients and helps with problem solving.

He has a Bachelors of Science in Business and Marketing from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. His past 20 years of business experience includes roles of Controller, CFO, and President of consumer goods companies with double digit growth for over a decade.  He and his wife own a local jewelry boutique, Trinity Diamonds.

Outside of the office, Rick enjoys keeping up with the latest in tech news, scuba diving, hiking, playing the electric bass guitar (well, trying to), and keeping the dogs happy with long walks.

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Alix’s primary roles in the team are portfolio management and client contact. She focuses on building and maintaining client relationships and reviewing and constructing portfolios that reflect clients’ individual goals.

Alix holds a BS in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, where she studied both in Malibu, California and Florence, Italy. She started with Southwest Investments in 2009 on the operational side of the business and has built her way to the sales side.

In 2014 Alix obtained one of the industry’s newest designations, the Certified Wealth Strategist® designation, administered by Cannon Financial Institute.

When she’s not in the office, Alix enjoys traveling and exercising with her husband Phil, singing at the Vineyard Christian Community, and meeting up for tea or a cold brew. She has a wonderful family and close group of friends and is excited to be a part of the team here at Southwest Investment Advisors.

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