A. This is because the new Secure Act!
Consider this scenario
Someone is leaving a $1 million IRA to a conduit IRA trust for his grandchildren.
Under the old stretch IRA rules, if the trust qualified as a see-through trust, RMDs could be based on the age of the oldest grandchildren, say, 19-year old. RMDs would be paid to the trust and from the trust right through to the grandchildren over 64 years (the life expectancy of a 19-year old), leaving the bulk of the inherited IRA funds protected in trust for decades.
Meanwhile, the grandchildren receive only about 1.6% to 2% of the account for the first 14 years, with the percentage increasing very slightly each year. That percentage of IRA funds being released to the grandchildren would stay under 10% for 50 years. Those smaller RMDs would keep tax bills lower for many years and keep balance of the nondistributed trust funds protected.
Why it won't work anymore
But not anymore! Under the new Secure Act, if the plan stays as is, all the funds will be released to the grandchildren and taxed by the end of the 10th year after death. Even if a discretionary trust was used to keep more funds protected, the entire inherited IRA balance would still have to be paid out to the trust by the end of 10 years - and taxed at trust rates for any funds retained in the trust for continued protection.
That's why the person with $1 million IRA could instead withdraw the IRA funds over time using today's low tax rates and use them to buy a life insurance policy. Due to the life insurance leverage, the payout after death can far exceed the $1 million balance in the IRA, depending on the person's health and age.
In order for the new life insurance strategy works, the person has to qualify for life insurance.