The SECURE Act and Successor Beneficiaries

Now that the SECURE Act has been signed into law, you will want to know how it might affect aspects of your retirement, retirement planning, and your estate. While I’ve talked here about how the SECURE Act will expand retirement benefits for many workers, I haven’t talked much about how the legislation can impact your beneficiaries and their beneficiaries, also known as a successor beneficiary. A successor beneficiary might end up being someone such as the offspring of a beneficiary or one that the original beneficiary listed on proper documentation associated with the inherited account. The old rules–pre-SECURE Act–allowed a Continue reading The SECURE Act and Successor Beneficiaries

Spousal Inherited IRA: Take It or Leave It

If you are married, you may have discussed with your spouse what you plan to do with each others estates should one of your pass before the other. This discussion–and other similar ones–is important and can make the period after the passing of a spouse less difficult than it needs to be. As part of those discussions, you may want to talk about what you both will do with an Inherited IRA, if you or your partner have one. There are really three main options for the spouse inheriting the IRA. The first is to leave the IRA as it Continue reading Spousal Inherited IRA: Take It or Leave It

Estate Planning and the Non-Traditional Family

The traditional notion of what a family is has shifted over the decades as society has become more open and excepting of families that do not fit the norm. Now, for the purposes of this blog post, a “traditional” family is that of a husband and wife and one or more biological children. Whether you agree with it or not, things such as divorce and same-sex marriages are more prevalent in today’s society and–possibly coinciding with that–so too is the blended family, which is formed by two previously divorced people getting married. While these types of families are becoming accepted Continue reading Estate Planning and the Non-Traditional Family

Knowing What Your Getting Into With Retirement Paperwork

There’s a lot of fine print on any paperwork associated with a financial account. Whether it’s a bank account or an IRA, the amount of legal jargon and required information can be pages long and mind-boggling to understand. However, that should not stop you from knowing what you can and cannot do with your financial accounts. This is particularly important when it comes to your retirement accounts and beneficiaries. First off, you want to make sure that you designate beneficiaries and update that information as needed. Next, you will want to know what your beneficiaries can and cannot do with Continue reading Knowing What Your Getting Into With Retirement Paperwork

Trusting in a Trust

There’s a good chance that you have a will, especially if you have assets that you want to share once you have passed on. If you don’t have many assets or few family and friends to share them with, then you can get by with a simple will (i.e. maybe a page or two long saying who gets what). However, if you have young children–or grandchildren–a simple, boilerplate will probably won’t cut it. Furthermore, if you find that your will may end up leaving a large inheritance to a child or young adult, you will want to consider guidelines and Continue reading Trusting in a Trust

Good IRA Owners Update Beneficiary Forms

In my last blog post, I talked about the importance of doing a thorough review of your retirement accounts and plans at least a few times a year. Today, I’m going to focus on making sure your retirement account beneficiary forms–as well as insurance policy beneficiary forms–are up-to-date. This is very important as outdated or incomplete beneficiary information can cause a lot of pain for family and friends when it comes to distributing your estate. Incomplete or outdated beneficiary information can lead your accounts to fall into probate or, worse yet, lead to fighting and distruption among family and friends. Continue reading Good IRA Owners Update Beneficiary Forms

One More Advantage to Multiple IRAs in Estate Planning…

Yesterday I wrote about how having multiple IRAs can help you with estate planning as a vehicle for bequests and a way to leave money for friends and family. One thing I left out was how IRAs can provide an easy way for your heirs and beneficiaries to use disclaimers and pass the money on to other heirs. An example of when this might be done is if an adult is named as the beneficiary of an IRA and is in a high tax bracket and does not need the retirement money. That adult, however, may have children who could Continue reading One More Advantage to Multiple IRAs in Estate Planning…

Estate Planning Benefits of Having Multiple IRAs

I’ve often talked here about the wisdom behind converting multiple IRAs into one or two accounts as you grow older. Mainly, that it makes it easier to manage your money and to prevent missed required minimum distributions (RMDs), which can result from juggling too many accounts. While consolidating IRAs into as few accounts as possible is still a good idea, today I’m going to talk about an area in which it just might be beneficial to haveĀ  multiple IRA accounts, particularly Roth IRAs: estate planning. If you are interested in leaving bequests for heirs and family members, an IRA can Continue reading Estate Planning Benefits of Having Multiple IRAs