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Articles tagged with: Estate Planning

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

These steps will help you make the most of the bittersweet situation you are in.

17 October 2020

Five Things to Do If You Inherit a Roth IRA

Once upon a time, if you inherited a Roth IRA, you would be able to stretch the inherited Roth IRA withdrawals out over your lifetime, letting the money grow over the years. Now though, the rules have changed. With the SECURE Act, which was signed into law in December of 2019, planning for an inherited IRA requires a little bit more effort and intention.

This is because the act imposes a new rule on inherited IRAs for any account whose owner died after December 31, 2019, requiring that beneficiaries must empty the account within 10 years of the owner’s death (unless they qualify for an exception).

While this new law definitely limits what you can do with an inherited IRA, there is still some flexibility in how you reap the benefits as long as you stay in the 10-year time limit. Here are five tips to guide you as you plan your strategy.

 

The Heirless Estate: What to Do and When to Do It

Estate Planning Guidance for Those Without Heirs

12 August 2020

The Heirless Estate: What to Do and When to Do It

Estate planning is all about the disposition of your assets and, for many people, this involves determining how to divide assets among heirs. What happens, though, when you don’t have a spouse or children, or other obvious heirs to your estate? Unfortunately, many people in this situation don’t feel it’s necessary to plan where their assets will go, which makes it more likely that their money will end up somewhere they wouldn’t choose – namely, the state. For this reason, it’s always prudent to have a strategy in place and to plan ahead for various outcomes.

The SECURE Act: How It Could Affect Your Retirement and Estate Plans

This legislative overhaul brought about numerous changes that are likely to impact your finances.

11 March 2020

The SECURE Act: How It Could Affect Your Retirement and Estate Plans

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019, and it took effect on January 1, 2020. Overall, the legislation is intended to strengthen retirement security nationwide, but it also contains multiple changes that impact retirement and estate planning. Let’s dig into a few of the most significant provisions.

No Age Cut-Off for IRA Contributions

In the past, you were prohibited from contributing to a traditional IRA in the year you reached age 70 ½, even if you were still employed. The SECURE Act eliminates this rule so that anyone, regardless of age, can make IRA contributions as long as they have earned income to contribute. With this change, traditional IRA rules now mirror the contribution rules for Roth IRAs and 401(k) plans.

This longer contribution period takes effect for the 2020 tax year. Although 2019 contributions can be made up until April 15, 2020, these contributions must still follow the past rules, meaning only individuals under the age of 70 ½ can contribute for tax year 2019.

Estate Plans Versus Wealth Transfer Plans

Estate Planning Alone Won’t Always Accomplish Your Family and Financial Goals

28 November 2019

Estate Plans Versus Wealth Transfer Plans

When it comes to estate planning, do you have your ducks in a row? Even if you have all the proper documentation in place, you may be missing an important piece of the puzzle if you don’t have a wealth transfer plan.

Estate Plans

Estate planning documents are the best way to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes when you die. When you pass away without a will or trust in place, state law will determine who receives your assets. Unfortunately, this may not be in accordance with what you would have preferred. When you record your wishes in a legal document, however, you get to choose exactly who benefits from your estate.

Another reason to have an estate plan is that, without one, your family will be left with some or all of the following:

The time is NOW to think about Estate Planning

21 January 2017

The time is NOW to think about Estate Planning

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” This quote, taken from the Lord of the Rings novels by J.R.R. Tolkien comes when the main character, Frodo Baggins, is faced with a daunting task of leading his close companions on a perilous task to save the world as they knew it. While this quote can have many deep meanings, it reminds me of the importance of planning for the unexpected. Frodo, unsure of what was on the horizon, was reminded by his companion Gandalf that while we are unsure of the future, we have the power right now to decide what to do with the time that we do have. Growing up, I pictured estate planning as the rather dreary process of establishing a will that ultimately provided instructions as to the final disposition of one’s estate, or everything one owns. But when I was finally exposed to the topic of Estate Planning in my academic studies and throughout my preparation for the CFP exam, then I truly understood its deep significance and how the estate planning process encompasses so much more than I initially imagined. Even now, as a recent college graduate without dependents, I understand that while I may not “need” to have an estate plan prepared any time soon, the amazing benefits and peace of mind it can provide in the present-day and in the future make it worth the effort. Below are a few reasons why beginning to think about, prepare, or even update your estate plan NOW can both provide peace of mind in directing even more of what will happen upon your death or incapacity, and also ensure that your goals and passions while living can be achieved after death.

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