Giving Your IRA to Loved Ones? Think Carefully

While IRAs are excellent vehicles for accumulating assets for your use during retirement, much to many people's surprise, they are a far less attractive way to pass an inheritance to loved ones. Here's why.

The Tax Consequences of IRAs
When you name anyone other than your spouse as beneficiary of an IRA—or retirement plan—these assets will be exposed to heavy taxation, leaving less for your heirs than you had hoped. Upon your death, the income tax bill can take as much as 39.6 percent, and that percentage can be even higher if your estate is subject to estate taxes.

A Tax-Smart Way to Support Memorial Sloan Kettering
If you've thought about contributing to MSK, consider giving IRA assets to us and giving other assets that are not as heavily taxed to family members. As a nonprofit organization, we are tax-exempt, so we can use 100 percent of your IRA contribution to help us work toward the progressive control and ultimate cure of cancer long after you're gone.

Next Steps

  1. Contact the administrator of your IRA or retirement plan to request a change-of-beneficiary form.
  2. Name Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a beneficiary of all or a percentage of the plan’s value.
  3. Return the updated form to the plan administrator.
  4. Contact our Office of Planned Giving staff for information or assistance. Notifying us of a gift intention allows us to thank you and make sure we have a clear understanding of your plans. It also gives us an opportunity to welcome you into the Cullum Society. Your notification will be treated confidentially, if you so desire. Toll free: 800-688-1827
  5. Please use our legal name, address, and Federal Tax ID if incorporating the Center into your plans:

Legal Name

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065

Federal Tax ID #


Contact Us

Our staff is available to help, in confidence and without obligation.

Toll free: 800-688-1827

If you have included MSK in your estate plans, please let us know.