Naming Trusts as Designated Beneficiaries of Retirement Accounts

Treasury Regulations Permit Naming Trusts as (Designated) Beneficiaries of Retirement Accounts While often viewed as a “gray” area, the reality is that a trust can absolutely become eligible for designated beneficiary treatment, qualifying as a “see-through” trust where the post-death RMDs are calculated based on the life expectancy of the oldest of the trust’s underlying […]

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Funding a Living Trust

How Do Life Insurance and Qualified Retirement Plans Fit In? The most important aspect of owning a Revocable Living Trust is ensuring that your assets are titled in the name of the Trust and therefore owned by the Trust. There is an exception to this rule, that involves Qualified Retirement Plans (QRP’s), which include your […]

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Can a Creditor Go After Non-Probate Assets?

When someone dies, one of the first questions that close relatives usually have is whether they are personally responsible to pay the credit card bills of the decedent. They may even start getting telephone calls from creditors asking them to pay outstanding balances. Close relatives may also want to know: Who is responsible for paying […]

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What Financial Advisors Should Look for When Reviewing Client(s) Living Trusts

After practicing estate planning for almost 20 years, I’ve learned that having estate-planning documents doesn’t always mean the estate planning goals are being accomplished. Usually, this is a result of not clarifying objectives before legal documents are drafted, or failing to review and update legal documents when significant life changes occur. As a primer for […]

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Handling Your Parents Wealth

People are living longer than ever before and extended lifespans often come with increased wealth. Decisions regarding your parents’ assets can be difficult for everyone, and it’s not uncommon for families to be pulled apart in the process. Supervising investments. Setting up an effective estate plan. Planning for the possibility of long-term care. Making charitable contributions. […]

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10 Important Tax-Related Developments for 2016

Several significant tax developments happened last year that may affect federal income tax returns that individual and business taxpayers file in 2017. Here’s a quick look at 10 key changes that you should be aware of during this tax season. Uncertain Fate of Tax Extenders In 2016, Congress adjourned without addressing numerous temporary tax provisions […]

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When to Update Your Power of Attorney

Should I be updating my Power of Attorney? There are many circumstances when you might want to update your power of attorney, but generally these fall into three categories. The first is when your life changes, the second is when you have a problem with your designated agent, and the third is what you want […]

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Tax Breaks Seniors Should Not Overlook

Are you an “experienced” taxpayer? Here are a couple of age-based tax breaks that seniors shouldn’t overlook when filing their 2016 returns.  1. Claim Your Rightful Medical Expense Deductions If you’re 65 years of age or older, you may have fallen into the habit of automatically claiming the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions. […]

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Special Needs Trust: What Expenses Can They Pay For?

A special needs trust or a supplemental needs trust can be established to help a disabled individual who is receiving assistance from the government — or is eligible to receive it. Disabled people, who cannot support themselves and rely on government assistance, are not allowed to have more than a certain amount of personal assets, […]

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When to Review Trusts and Other Estate Plans

Safeguard and Periodically Review Your Estate Plan. No estate plan is ever finalized. Tax laws, economic conditions, estate exclusions, account values and inflation constantly change which affects the way they are implemented. Material events that suggest it is time for a review of your Estate Plan include: Funding your Trust – especially if opening new […]

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