Colleagues Applauding Senior Businessman

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal estate tax exemption considerably. Before the tax reform law, it was $5.49 million per person for 2017. It’s up to $11.7 million for 2021 ($23.4 million for a married couple).” For the moment, fewer Americans are concerned about the federal estate tax. However, if your goal […]

Family Pulling Party Favors During Christmas Dinner

“Once you’ve bought an annuity or a life insurance policy and named your beneficiaries, you may never think about those beneficiary designations again. However, that could be a big mistake.” Let’s say you divorce and remarry and forget to change your beneficiary from your ex-spouse. Your ex-spouse will be smiling all the way to the […]

silhouettes at sunset

“If you are planning to take another walk down the aisle, it is critical to take the time to review and revise your estate plan, especially if meaningful assets and debts are being brought into the marriage.” The assets you and your second spouse bring into the marriage need to be carefully considered when revising […]

Family Pulling Party Favors During Christmas Dinner

“Just as you have trust in a relationship, trusting your document and those with responsibilities in the trust are crucial to obtaining your objectives.” A trust of any kind is a document that expresses your wishes while you are alive and after you have passed. The need for a dedicated trust for loved ones differs […]

extended family

“When you hear the word trust fund, you might think of the uber-wealthy giving their kids a big chunk of cash on their 25th birthday. However, trust funds aren’t just for the rich.” A trust fund is an estate planning tool that can be used by anyone who wishes to pass their property to individuals, […]

Giving to charity

“Ever since a group of philanthropists created the Giving Pledge in 2010, taxpayers have expressed greater interest in potential estate planning strategies that would allow them to leave a significant portion of their assets to charity upon their death.” The interest in charitable giving increased in 2020 for two reasons. One was a dramatic increase […]

Senior couple

“In the pre-SECURE Act universe, there were designated beneficiaries. These beneficiaries could be individuals (sometimes called named beneficiaries), institutions, such as charities, or estates.” Before the SECURE Act, named beneficiaries who inherited an IRA were able to take distributions over the course of their lifetimes. This allowed the IRA to grow over many years, sometimes […]

woman looking through the window pane

“In addition to deciding who gets what when you die, you have key roles to fill that deserve thoughtful deliberation as part of the estate-planning process, experts say.” Spending the least amount of time possible contemplating your death is what most people try to do. However, one part of the estate planning process needs time […]

question mark

“Although most assets in your estate may pass through the probate process, other assets may not. It often depends on the type of asset or how an asset is titled.” Probate is a court-supervised process occurring after your death. It takes place in the state where you were a resident at the time of your […]

Finger Pressing Button on Calculator

“By being very selective about who receives which type of money—whether Traditional or Roth IRAs, after-tax brokerage accounts, life insurance, etc.—you can dramatically cut the share that goes to the IRS and increase the amount going to your family.” Not keeping a close eye on tax implications often costs families tens of thousands of dollars […]