Making the difficult decision to end your marriage is never easy, and the legal process of divorce that follows will undoubtedly be time-consuming and emotionally exhausting. Given the time and attention a divorce takes, it can be all too easy to overlook the numerous practical steps that should be taken after the divorce process reaches a conclusion. Nevertheless, be sure not to not forget to update your estate plan after a divorce. Routine Reviews and Revisions of Your Estate Plan One of … [Read more...] about Do Not Forget to Update Your Estate Plan after a Divorce
Estate planning should cover more than just the disposition of your estate assets when you are gone. A well-rounded estate plan should also help you plan for the possibility of your incapacity or disability. By including a disability planning component to your comprehensive estate plan, you can rest assured that you, your assets, and your loved ones will be protected should disability strike. To better help you understand the importance of disability planning, the disability planning staff at … [Read more...] about Disability Planning within Your Estate Plan
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
As we advised in last month’s newsletter, the “Secure Act” was part of a larger law that passed with (rare) bipartisan support in late-December 2019. It was effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. This is the second in a series of articles on the Secure Act. The first article looked at the basics of the Secure Act. This article examines planning strategies for dealing with the Secure Act. As laid out in the first article in the series, the Secure Act requires more rapid distributions of … [Read more...] about Planning for the SECURE Act
Creating a well thought out estate plan is the first step toward ensuring that your loved ones will be secure after you are gone. For you plan to work as anticipated though, the individual documents that make up the plan must be accessible and work as intended. To help you keep your estate plan safe and ready when needed, let's explore what to do with your estate plan when it’s complete. What’s In Your Estate Plan? Of course, no two estate plans are identical because people have unique needs … [Read more...] about What Do I Do with My Estate Plan When It’s Complete?
The most significant action of Congress in 2019 relating to retirement and estate planning was the late December passage of the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019”, commonly known as the “Secure Act”. It was signed into law shortly thereafter and is effective January 1, 2020, for most purposes. In this and future newsletters, we will look into the provisions of the Secure Act and also some strategies to maximize benefits and minimize problems created by this … [Read more...] about CONGRESS PASSES THE SECURE ACT: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU?
What are the tax implications of an inheriting an IRA? The answer depends on several factors: Is it a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA? The funds in a traditional IRA have never been taxed and will be taxed as they are withdrawn. Roth IRAs contain post-tax dollars and are not again taxed upon their withdrawal. Is the beneficiary of the IRA a spouse, a non-spouse person, or a charity? When the beneficiary of an IRA is the spouse of the IRA owner, the spouse will have a number of … [Read more...] about Ins and Outs of Inheriting an IRA
An estate plan is an important part of one’s plan for the future. Many realize that they need the assistance of an experienced and qualified attorney to assist them in their efforts. Unfortunately, some folks will cut corners in their estate planning efforts in an effort to save a few bucks or because they think they are as smart as or smarter than their estate planning lawyer when it comes to drafting documents or both. Even with persons who were prudent enough to have their original plans … [Read more...] about Where Do It Yourself = Do It Wrong
We are often asked by prospective clients: “Do I need an estate plan?” This is particularly the case for folks under 40 or 50, who just can’t imagine themselves dead or incapacitated. We are also often asked about planning by our clients who have adult children with assets and children of their own. As we all know, we can't and don’t know the future. Should a premature death or disability occur due to an unexpected injury or illness, having an appropriate plan in place will reduce needless … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Estate Plan? I’m Not That Old
We have previously wrote about the long-awaited arrival in California of the so-called ABLE accounts. Formally, known as an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, they are a low-cost, easy-to-access plan established by federal law that began rolling out in 2016 and is now available in California. Modeled after the so-called “529 accounts”, an educational savings program offered by individual states, ABLE accounts let children or adults with disabilities incurred before age 26 … [Read more...] about An Update On ABLE Accounts