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 Your Assets

Do you know what your assets are? Seriously, when was the last time you sat down and put together a list of the accounts, properties, investments, and consumer goods of value (i.e. a car, boat, etc.) that you have under your name? This can be important as it’s good to not only know what you have, but possibly formulate a plan as to what assets you are comfortable with parting with should you need money in an emergency or assets that could bring in retirement income. Unless you are incredibly wealthy and know that money will never be an issue, Continue reading Knowing Your Assets

Thinking About Your Children When Estate Planning

I’ve mentioned the importance of estate planning here on this blog at times in the past as something that you should include as part of your retirement planning. After all, it will most likely be your remaining retirement funds that are left over after you pass which will need to be divided up. Also, it’s one less thing you will have to worry about once a plan has been put in place (barring any life changes that is). Traditionally, people often think of estate planning as something done later in life, especially once it is clear what your assets are Continue reading Thinking About Your Children When Estate Planning

Planning on Aging Solo? Have Some Plans in Place!

Aging solo is not an uncommon occurrence anymore, thanks in large part to the Baby Boomer generation and the way they have redefined priorities regarding settling down and having families. Furthermore, you may find yourself in a situation in which you are aging without a significant other by choice or by life’s unpredictability (i.e. being a widow/widower). While there is nothing wrong with a desire to lead an independent and single-minded life in retirement, you do need to think about the support system you may need as you grow older. You will also want to have instructions in place for Continue reading Planning on Aging Solo? Have Some Plans in Place!

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

What’s Happening With Your Assets After You Die?

As you plan for retirement, you should also put some thought into what you want to happen with your assets and accounts when you die. Sure, thinking about mortality can be depressing, but putting the thought into it now will save your family and friends from stress and difficulties in the future when it comes to probating or dividing up your estate. You’ve most likely already started divvying up your assets when you filled out beneficiary forms for any retirement accounts or life insurance policies you may have. While filling out those forms is an important first step, you also Continue reading What’s Happening With Your Assets After You Die?

Are Your Finances In Order?

When was the last time you looked at your estate or finances? As you move through life, you should take care from time to time to make sure your finances are in order, and along with that, that your estate is set as well. This means making sure that all the proper documents are filled out (i.e. beneficiary forms) and that you have an idea as to what your debts and assets are. This is good to know both for your own personal knowledge (it may make applying for loans or filing your taxes easier) as well as for your Continue reading Are Your Finances In Order?