The health and safety of our clients, staff, and friends of the law firm are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As estate planning and elder law attorneys, our practice is dedicated to serving our most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, those who are ill, disabled, experiencing mental health challenges and children with special needs. The uncertainty around the pandemic has many people with immune system challenges concerned about exposure to the … [Read more...] about Our Available Services During COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic
The Federal Social Security Administration is responsible for providing Social Security retirement and disability benefits to qualified applicants. For this blog discussion, we’ll cover Social Security retirement benefits. Almost all of us have a right to claim Social Security retirement benefits once we reach retirement age. For those born in 1929 or later years, you can claim Social Security retirement benefits if you’ve earned a sufficient number of work credits. Usually, you must have … [Read more...] about Social Security Retirement Benefits Basics
If you are like most Americans, you started saving for your retirement about the same time you started your career. The idea of saving for our golden years is firmly ingrained in the American psyche. While putting away money for retirement is certainly wise, putting away too much can result in over-funding of a retirement account. Unless one plans ahead, the excess funds in a retirement account could be taxed as both income and for estate tax purposes at the time of death. The end result of this … [Read more...] about Over-Funding Your Retirement Plan: A Potential Estate Planning Problem
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?
Your estate plan must be in writing to be legally valid; conversations with your spouse or other family members are not enough. Without written directions and authorization, family discord and upset may result and your wishes may not be followed. Don’t Want to be Hooked to Life Support Machines, Put it in Writing in an Advance Health Care Directive For example, Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman kept on life support for 15 years, had reportedly told her husband that she didn’t want to be … [Read more...] about Your Estate Plan: Get It Into a Writing or Else
If you own a small business, make sure you include your interest in the business in your estate plan. Even if you plan to leave all your interest in the business to a family member, failing to structure the transfer of your interest in the business in the right way could subject the value of the interest to estate or gift taxes. With proper planning, you may be able to minimize or eliminate estate or gift taxes by using one of the numerous business succession options. Sale of Your Business: … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Essential for Small Business Owners
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
The popularity of self-funded retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA), has increased dramatically over the last several decades as more and more companies do away with employer-sponsored retirement and pension plans. Given how common it now is for an IRA to be part of a retirement plan, inheriting an IRA has also become fairly common. If you recently learned that you are the beneficiary of an IRA, or you are contemplating the wisdom of including an IRA in … [Read more...] about Is an Inherited IRA Taxable to the Beneficiary?
Probate can be an extremely costly, lengthy, and public process. Many people take the time to carefully plan their estate in order to avoid probate. If you’re looking to avoid probate, you will need to utilize the right techniques. Take a look at some more great ways to avoid probate. If you have any questions or if you’re ready to discuss your probate avoidance needs, meet with an experienced, qualified estate planning attorney. Gift during your lifetime. If you’re able and willing … [Read more...] about Probate Avoidance Made Easy (part 2 of 2)
You have probably listened to well-meaning family members tell you that it is never too early to start planning for your retirement. It is also never too early to start learning more about your Social Security retirement benefits. Doing so ensures that you have a good idea what your benefit amount will be and helps you decide when to start collecting those benefits. The Sacramento elder law lawyers at Northern California Center for Estate Planning & Elder Law explain some basics about Social … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about Social Security Retirement Benefits