Your statement, they tax you when you make it and then some when you die. You have to remember that the money put into an IRA was not taxed. It was allowed to grow without tazes until it was withdrawn, which could be after 55 years of age. This means that the taxes ordinarily which would have been paid were actually making money for the IRA owner. An account in an IRA compared to a like investment not in an IRA would be worth considerably more than one not in an IRA. You are fortunate that your father managed his finances so masterfully. So be thankful what you got.