You’ve probably seen it in the movies or on TV hundreds of times: A close-knit family gathers for the reading of the will of a wealthy patriarch or matriarch. When the terms are revealed, someone benefits at the expense of someone else, causing a ruckus. It may even come to blows. This “bad blood” continues to boil between estranged family members, who won’t even speak to one another. (more…)
Insight on Estate Planning
If you have a financial interest in, or signature authority over, foreign financial accounts with an aggregate value exceeding $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, you must file FinCEN Form 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR). The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the IRS have been stepping up enforcement of foreign account reporting requirements. Thus, it’s important to closely follow compliance rules to avoid penalty. (more…)
It’s difficult for many people to think about their own mortality, and it’s not surprising to learn that many put off planning their funerals. Unfortunately, this lack of planning can result in emotional turmoil for surviving family members when someone dies unexpectedly.
Also, a death in the family may cause unintended financial consequences. Why not take matters out of your heirs’ hands? By planning ahead, as much as it may be disconcerting, you can remove this future burden from your loved ones. (more…)
The stock market goes up, the stock market goes down. Just consider recent history. In 2018, stocks took one of their worst beatings since the Great Depression, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) falling 5.6% for the year and the S&P 500 down 6.2%. But the markets rebounded early in 2019, with both the DJIA and S&P 500 posting gains of more than 7% during the first six weeks of this year. (more…)
Are you a multitasker? If so, you may appreciate an estate planning technique that can convert assets into a stream of lifetime income, provide a current tax deduction and leave the remainder to your favorite charity — all in one fell swoop. It’s the aptly named charitable remainder trust (CRT).
CRTs have been around for decades, and they continue to be a viable estate planning strategy in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and other recent tax legislation. (more…)
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow investments to grow tax-free over time and can be an effective way to pass wealth to future generations. Distributions from an IRA are subject to income tax in the year of withdrawal. Required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are calculated based on the value of your IRA and your life expectancy, must be taken when you reach age 70 ½. (more…)
Beginning in 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) effectively removed gift and estate tax liability concerns for many families. However, the favorable estate tax changes in the TCJA are currently scheduled to sunset after 2025, unless Congress takes further action. Notably, the TCJA provision that doubled the gift and estate tax exemption from $5 million to $10 million (adjusted annually for inflation) will revert to pre-2018 levels after 2025. (more…)
Obviously, qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and IRAs are meant to provide retirement savings. However, if you’re fortunate and don’t have to draw heavily, if at all, on plan and IRA assets, you can preserve a tidy nest egg for your heirs.
In fact, if handled correctly, distributions can be stretched over the lifetimes of several generations. Thus, these vehicles become estate planning tools, as well as retirement planning tools. (more…)
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has reduced estate tax concerns for many families, but estate tax liability remains a concern for some. Notably, you may implement strategies in the wake of the TCJA that are designed to reduce future exposure to federal and state estate taxes.
One such option, a Crummey trust, remains a viable option. Despite its odd-sounding name, derived from the landmark case authorizing its use, the results are anything but crummy. (more…)