Category: Retirement Accounts

Blended Families face Unique Planning Decisions

Blended Families face Unique Planning Decisions

Blended families are now nearly as common as traditional families. Blended families face unique estate planning decisions, says a recent article, “Considerations For Financial And Estate Planning Professionals Who Work With Blended Families” from Forbes.

Estate planning starts with a will. Naming an impartial executor may require more consideration than in traditional families where the eldest child is the likely candidate. The will also needs to nominate a guardian for minor children and appoint a power of attorney and healthcare proxy in case of incapacity. Traditional wills used to provide instructions for asset distribution may have limitations regarding blended families. Trusts may provide more control for asset distribution.

Wills don’t dictate beneficiaries for life insurance policies, retirement plans, or jointly owned property. However, wills are also subject to probate, which can become a long and costly process that opens the door for wills to be challenged in court.

Wills also become public documents once they are entered into probate. Any interested party may request access to the will, which may contain information the family would prefer to have private.

Trusts allow greater control over how assets are managed and distributed. Their contents remain private. There are many different types of trusts used to accomplish specific goals. For instance, a Qualified Terminal Interest Property Trust (QTIP) can provide income for a surviving spouse, while passing the rest of the assets to a client’s children or grandchildren.

Another type of trust is designed to skip a generation and distribute trust assets to grandchildren or those at least 37.5 years younger than the grantor. Some may choose to use this Generation-Skipping Trust (GST) to keep wealth in the family, by bypassing children who have married.

An IRA legacy trust can be the beneficiary of an IRA instead of family members. This option lets owners maintain creditor protection only sometimes afforded to one who inherits an IRA. The account owner may also want to use an IRA’s required minimum distributions (RMDs) to benefit a second spouse during their lifetime and leave the remainder to their children.

Couples entering a second or third marriage need to be transparent about their expectations of what each spouse will receive upon their death or in the event of divorce and whether or not they agree to waive their right to contest these commitments. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract spelling out the terms before marriage. For example, in some instances, the prenup requires each spouse to maintain life insurance on the other to ensure liquidity, either from the policy’s death benefit or its cash value.

A final consideration is ensuring that all documentation created is easy to understand, clear and concise. Blended families face unique estate planning decisions. Make sure to spell out the full names of beneficiaries for wills, trusts and life insurance, and include their birthdates, so it is easy to identify them and they cannot be confused with someone else. Estate planning is an ongoing process requiring review regularly to keep the estate plan consistent with the family’s evolving needs and goals. If you would like to learn more about planning for blended families, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (April 19, 2023) “Considerations For Financial And Estate Planning Professionals Who Work With Blended Families”

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Avoid Unintended Consequences with your Planning

Avoid Unintended Consequences with your Planning

The mistake can be as simple as signing a document without understanding its potential impact on property distribution, failing to have a last will and testament properly executed, or expecting a result different from what the will directs. Unfortunately, these unintended consequences are relatively common, says the article “Advice for avoiding unintended issues in estate planning” from The News-Enterprise. You can avoid unintended consequences with your planning by working with an estate planning attorney.

The most common mistake that leads to unintended consequences is leaving everything to a spouse in a blended family. Even if children don’t have a close relationship with their stepparent, they’re willing to get along for the sake of their biological parent. However, when the first spouse dies, the decedent’s beneficiaries are generally disinherited if the surviving spouse receives the entire estate.

If the family truly has blended and maintains close relationships, the surviving spouse may ensure that the decedent’s children receive a fair share of the estate. However, if the relationships are tenuous at best, and the surviving spouse changes their will so their biological children receive everything, the family is likely to fracture.

Using a revocable living trust as the primary planning tool is a safer option. An experienced estate planning attorney can create the trust to allow full flexibility during the lifetime of both spouses.  Upon the first spouse’s death, part of the estate is still protected for the decedent’s intended beneficiaries.

This way, the surviving spouse has full use of marital assets but can only change beneficiaries for his or her portion of the estate, protecting both the surviving spouse and the decedent’s intended beneficiaries.

Another common mistake occurs when married couples execute their last will and testaments with different beneficiaries. For example, if they’ve named each other as the primary beneficiary, only the survivor will have property to leave to loved ones.

An alternative is to decide what the couple wants to happen to the estate as a whole, then include fractional shares to all beneficiaries, not just the one spouse’s beneficiaries. This protects everyone.

Many people assume that if they die without a will, their spouse will inherit everything. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and a local estate planning attorney will be able to explain how your state’s laws work when there is no will. Children or other family members are often entitled to a share of the estate. This may not be terrible if the family is close. However, if there are estranged relationships, it can lead to the wrong people inheriting more than you’d want.

Failing to plan in case an heir becomes disabled can cause life-altering problems. If an heir develops a disability and receives government benefits, an inheritance could make them ineligible. The problem is that we don’t know what state of health and abilities our heirs will be in when we die, and few will want their estate to be used to reimburse the state for the cost of care. A few extra provisions in a professionally prepared estate plan can result in significant savings for all concerned.

Estate planning is about more than signing off on a handful of documents. It requires thoughtful consideration of goals and potential consequences. Can every single outcome be anticipated? Not every single one, but certainly enough to be worth the effort. You can avoid unintended consequences with your planning by working with an experienced estate planning attorney. If you would like to learn more about mistakes in your estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: The News-Enterprise (March 25, 2023) “Advice for avoiding unintended issues in estate planning”

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Consider these Overlooked Elements in your Planning

Consider these Overlooked Elements in your Planning

When creating an estate plan, consider these overlooked elements in your planning. There are details which seem minor but are actually very important, says a recent article from mondaq, “Four Provisions People Often Forget To Include In Their Estate Plan.”

Don’t forget to name alternative beneficiaries and executors. If the will names a beneficiary but they are unable to take possession of the property, or they are deceased, the asset will pass as though you didn’t have a will at all. In other words, the state will determine who receives the property, which may not be in accordance with your wishes. If there’s an alternate beneficiary, the property will go to someone of your choosing. A backup executor is also critical. If your primary executor cannot or does not want to serve, the court may appoint an administrator.

Personal possessions, including family heirlooms. Most families have items with great sentimental value, whether or not they have any financial value. Putting a list in your will makes it very difficult if you want to change your mind over time. It’s best to have a personal property memorandum. This is a separate document providing details about what items you want to give to family and friends. In some states, it is legally binding if the personal property memorandum is referenced in the will and signed and dated by the person making the will. A local estate planning attorney will know the laws regarding personal property memorandums for your state.

Even if this document is not legally binding, it gives your heirs clear instructions for what you want and may avoid family arguments. Please don’t use it to make any financial bequests or real estate gifts. Those belong in the will.

Digital assets. Much of our lives is now online. However, many people have slowly incorporated digital assets into their estate plans. You’ll want to list all online accounts, including email, financial, social media, gaming, shopping, etc. In addition, your executor may need access to your cell phone, tablet and desktop computer. The agent named by your Power of Attorney needs to be given authority to handle online accounts with a specific provision in these documents. Ensure the list, including the accounts, account number, username, password and other access information, is kept safe, and tell your executor where it can be found.

Companion animals. Today’s pet is a family member but is often left unprotected when its owners die or become incapacitated. Pets cannot inherit property, but you can name a caretaker and set aside funds for maintenance. Many states now permit pet owners to have a pet trust, a legally enforceable trust so the trustee may pay the pet’s caregiver for your pet’s needs, including veterinarian care, training, boarding, food and whatever the pet needs. Creating a document providing details to the caretaker concerning the pet’s needs, health conditions, habits and quirks is advised. Make sure the person you are naming as a caretaker is able and willing to serve in this capacity, and as always, when naming a person for any role, have at least one backup person named.

Make sure your consider these overlooked elements in your planning. Discuss all of your options carefully with an experienced estate planning attorney. If you would like to learn more about drafting an estate plan, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: mondaq (March 16, 2023) “Four Provisions People Often Forget To Include In Their Estate Plan”

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‘When’ play Major role in Retirement

‘When’ play Major role in Retirement

When do you plan to retire? When will you take Social Security? When must you start withdrawing money from your retirement savings? “When” plays a major role in retirement, says Kiplinger’s recent article entitled, “In Retirement, Many Crucial Questions Start With the Word ‘When’.” That’s because so many financial decisions related to retirement are much more dependent on timing than on the long-term performance of an investment.

Too many people approaching retirement — or are already there — don’t adjust how they think about investing to account for timing’s critical role. “When” plays a major role in the new strategy. Let’s look at a few reasons why:

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Many people use traditional IRAs or 401(k) accounts to save for retirement. These are tax-deferred accounts, meaning you don’t pay taxes on the income you put into the accounts each year. However, you’ll pay income tax when you begin withdrawing money in retirement. When you reach age 73, the federal government requires you to withdraw a certain percentage each year, whether you need the money or not. A way to avoid RMDs is to start converting your tax-deferred accounts to a Roth account way before you reach 73. You pay taxes when you make the conversion. However, your money then grows tax-free, and there is no requirement about how much you withdraw or when.

Using Different Types of Assets. In retirement, your focus needs to be on how to best use your assets, not just how they’re invested. For example, one option might be to save the Roth for last, so that it has more time to grow tax-free money for you. However, in determining what order you should tap your retirement funds, much of your decision depends on your situation.

Claiming Social Security. On average, Social Security makes up 30% of a retiree’s income. When you claim your Social Security affects how big those monthly checks are. You can start drawing money from Social Security as early as age 62. However, your rate is reduced for the rest of your life. If you delay until your full retirement age, there’s no limit to how much you can make. If you wait to claim your benefit past your full retirement age, your benefit will continue to grow until you hit 70.

Wealth Transfer. If you plan to leave something to your heirs and want to limit their taxes on that inheritance as much as possible, then “when” can come into play again. For instance, using the annual gift tax exclusion, you could give your beneficiaries some of their inheritance before you die. In 2023, you can give up to $17,000 to each individual without the gift being taxable. A married couple can give $17,000 each.

Take the time to discuss your retirement goals with your estate planning attorney. He or she will help you understand how the “when” in your planning plays a major role in retirement. If you would like to learn more about retirement planning, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Kiplinger (March 15, 2023) “In Retirement, Many Crucial Questions Start With the Word ‘When’”

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Take Care when using a Self-Directed IRA

Take Care when using a Self-Directed IRA

For some people, a self-directed IRA could be a great vehicle in which to invest tax-advantaged retirement funds in real property. However, there are rules governing everything from property ownership and usage to how you cover expenses and take profits. If they aren’t followed, you can easily run afoul of the IRS. Take care when using a self-directed IRA.

Forbes’ recent article entitled “How To Use A Self-Directed IRA For Real Estate Investing” explains that a real estate IRA is just another name for a self-directed IRA that’s designed to hold investment property. You can own a wide range of property types in a real estate IRA. This includes land, single and multi-family homes, international property, boat docks, commercial properties and more. Because this is a type of self-directed IRA, the custodian—the company safeguarding your account and enforcing IRS regulations—allows you to hold alternative asset classes, like real estate.

First, find a custodian that allows or even specializes in real estate IRAs. Next, you need to fund your account—typically with a rollover from an existing IRA. With your cash in place, you can buy real estate and have it titled in the name of your IRA. You can finance real estate in your IRA with an investment property-specific mortgage. You can then pay the mortgage using additional cash from your self-directed IRA. When you sell a property held in a real estate IRA, the funds stay in the account. Depending on the type of IRA you’ve selected, those funds grow tax-deferred (traditional IRA) or tax-free (Roth IRA).

A real estate IRA allows you to diversify away from stocks and bonds. However, there are many rules governing this specialized type of account. Let’s look at some of the key rules you must know:

Property Title. Real estate that is held in a self-directed IRA is owned by the account, rather than by you personally. Therefore, the title documents that confirm ownership of the property are in the name of your IRA, rather than in your name.

Expenses and Income. All expenses and income flow into and out of your real estate IRA. All property taxes, utility bills and other expenses are paid by your account. All rental income or other income is paid back into your account.

Limitations on Use. Real estate held in a self-directed IRA can only be an investment property. You and any member of your family—plus any of your beneficiaries or fiduciaries—are referred to as disqualified persons. Since the purpose of an IRA is retirement investing, these disqualified persons can’t make use of the real estate assets.

No DIY. If you need to fix up or repair property held in a real estate IRA, the account must pay for the work. It can’t be performed by a disqualified person (you).

Prior Property Ownership. You can’t sell, lease, or exchange property you already own to your real estate IRA. That’s called “self-dealing,” which the IRS strictly prohibits.

Watch Out for the UBIT. If you take out a loan that’s secured by the property itself (a non-recourse loan), you will be required to pay unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on any profits related to the financed portion. However, you can use depreciation and operating costs to reduce your tax bill, which can allow you to reduce your UBIT or eliminate it altogether.

A self-directed IRA can be a wonderful tool to utilize retirement funds for real estate, but take care when using it. If you would like to learn more about retirement accounts and estate planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Forbes (Feb. 13, 2023) “How To Use A Self-Directed IRA For Real Estate Investing”

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How to Avoid Common IRA Errors

How to Avoid Common IRA Errors

To help you sidestep some of the most common blunders and get the most out of your IRA investments, Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “Don’t Make These Common IRA Mistakes” points out how to avoid the most common IRA errors.

Not Planning for the “Second Half”. It’s really about two halves. You accumulate wealth in the first half and withdraw it in the second. Many people only play the first half of the game: they focus only on saving as much as possible in their IRA account. However, with retirement saving, it’s not how much you have. It’s how much you can keep after taxes.

Converting to a Roth All at Once. If you think your tax rate will be higher when you retire than it is right now, converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA this year might be smart. In the end, the total tax you owe on those funds may be lower by taking that step. However, a Roth conversion has a tax bill on your next return. The “mistake” those people sometimes make is thinking they have to convert the entire account at once. Instead, you can do partial conversions.

Exceeding Roth IRA Income Limits. There are annual contributions limits for both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. However, for Roth IRAs only, there are also income limits. If you’re single, the amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA account in 2022 is gradually reduced to zero, if your modified adjusted gross income is between $129,000 and $144,000 ($204,000 to $214,000 for joint filers).

Doing Indirect Rollovers. Many people have trouble when they attempt to move money from one retirement account to another. If you take money out of an IRA account and the check is in your name, you only have 60 days to roll that money over into another retirement account before the withdrawn funds are deemed taxable income. This is an indirect rollover. For IRA-to-IRA transfers, you can only do one indirect rollover per year.

Forgetting to Account for All RMDs. You must start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) when you reach 72. Some people miss an RMD or don’t take it for all of their accounts subject to the RMD rules. Other people miscalculate and don’t withdraw enough money. These can be costly mistakes, because you could be hit with a stiff penalty for violating the RMD rules.

These are simply the most common IRA errors to avoid, but there can be additional issues that you need to be aware of. Take the time out to consult with your financial advisor and your estate planning attorney to make sure you are covered. If you would like to learn more about retirement accounts, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Kiplinger (July 25, 2022) “Don’t Make These Common IRA Mistakes”

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Steps Seniors should take before Remarrying

Steps Seniors should take before Remarrying

Seniors in particular think about remarrying with an understandable degree of concern. Maybe your last relationship ended in a divorce, or there’ve been too many dating disasters. However, according to a recent article from MSN, “Planning to remarry after a divorce? 6 tips to protect your financial future,” there are some steps seniors should take before remarrying to make relationships easier to navigate and protect your financial future.

Not all of them are easy, but all are worthwhile.

No marrying without a prenup. Who wants to think about divorce when they’re head-over-heels in love and planning a wedding? No one. However, think of a prenup as about the start, not the end. It clarifies many issues: full financial clarity, financial expectations and clear details on what would happen in the worst case scenario. Getting all this out in the open before you say “I do” makes it much easier for the new couple to go forward.

Trust…but verify. Estate planning ensures that assets pass as you want. A revocable living trust set up during your lifetime can be used to ensure your assets pass to your offspring. Unlike a will, the provisions of a revocable trust are effective not just when you die but in the event of incapacity. A living trust can provide for the trust creator and their children during any period of incapacity prior to death. At death, the trust ensures that beneficiaries receive assets without going through probate.

Consider life insurance. Life insurance, possibly held in an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT), which allows proceeds to pass tax-free, can be used to provide funds for a surviving spouse or children from a prior marriage. Make sure to review all insurance policies, including life, property and casualty and umbrella insurance to be sure you have the correct coverage in place, insurance policies are titled correctly and premiums continue to be paid.

Estate planning. While you are planning to remarry is a good time to check on account titles, beneficiary designations and powers of attorney. Couples should review their estate plans to be sure planning reflects current wishes. Married couples have the benefit of the unlimited marital deduction, meaning they can gift during their lifetime or bequeath at death an unlimited amount of assets to their U.S. citizen surviving spouse without any gift or estate tax. For unmarried couples, different estate planning techniques need to be used to pass the maximum amount to partners tax free.

Check beneficiaries. After divorce and before a remarriage, check beneficiaries on 401(k)s, pensions, retirement accounts and life insurance policies, Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney documents. If you remarry, a prenup agreement or state law may require you to give some portion of your estate to your spouse, so have an estate planning attorney guide you through any changes. Couples should also check beneficiaries of life insurance and retirement plans.

Choose trustees wisely. Consider the advantages of a corporate trustee, who will be neutral and may prevent tensions with a newly blended family. If an outsider is named as an executor, or to act as a trustee, they may be able to minimize conflict. They’ll also have the professional knowledge and expertise with legal, tax and administrative complexities of administering estates and trusts.

These are just some of the major steps seniors should take before remarrying. Sit down and discuss the implications on you planning with your estate planning lawyer. If you would like to learn more about remarriage protection, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: MSN (Feb. 11, 2023) “Planning to remarry after a divorce? 6 tips to protect your financial future”

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Consider Annuities in your Estate Planning

Consider Annuities in your Estate Planning

Many people have annuities tied to their retirement accounts. It might be wise to consider annuities in your estate planning. Annuities are contracts between you and an insurance company, which is unlike retirement investment accounts like 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts (IRAs).

Forbes’ recent article entitled “What Is An Annuity Beneficiary?” explains that, with an annuity, you make a lump sum payment or a series of payments over a set period to the insurance company. In exchange, the insurance company will pay out a stream of income in retirement or at a predetermined future date, depending on the type of annuity purchased.

There are a number of benefits to annuities, such as a predictable income in retirement, tax-deferred growth and a death benefit if you pass away. There are several different types of annuities, but they can be grouped into three main categories:

  • Fixed annuity. If you buy a fixed annuity, the insurance company will pay you a minimum rate of interest and a fixed amount of periodic payments. These are the safest type of annuity because you know the minimum you’ll earn.
  • Indexed annuity. This combines features of annuities and investment securities. The insurance company’s payments are based on the performance of a stock market index, such as the S&P 500. When the index performs well, the value of the indexed annuity increases. However, it can also decline along with the index’s performance.
  • Variable annuity. With this type of annuity, you can use your annuity payments for investment products, like mutual funds. Your payout is based on the performance of how much you invest and the rate of return on those securities. These annuities can be risky. However, they have the potential for higher returns.

Whoever signs an annuity contract is considered the owner, who selects the way the annuity will be funded, how payouts will be made and the recipient of the payouts. They also name beneficiaries, control withdrawals and have the power to cancel the contract. An “annuitant” is the person who gets income payments from an annuity contract.

Some annuities have death-benefit provisions, so you can name someone to inherit the remaining annuity payments if you die before it’s been fully paid. The designated recipient of that benefit is known as the annuity beneficiary.

The death benefit of an annuity is typically the remaining contract value or the amount of premiums, minus any withdrawals, upon the annuity holder’s death. Discuss with your estate planning attorney whether or not you should consider annuities as part of your estate planning strategy. If you would like to learn more about annuities and how they work, please visit our previous posts.   

Reference: Forbes (Jan. 19, 2023) “What Is An Annuity Beneficiary?”

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Naming a Secondary Beneficiary is critical

Naming a Secondary Beneficiary is critical

Naming a secondary beneficiary is critical to ensuring your assets go where you want them. A secondary beneficiary, sometimes called a contingent beneficiary, is a person or entity entitled to receive assets from an estate or trust after the estate owner’s death, if the primary beneficiary is unable or unwilling to accept the assets. Secondary beneficiaries can be relatives or other people, but they can also be trusts, charities or other organizations, as explained in the recent article titled “What You Need to Know About Secondary or Contingent Beneficiaries” from yahoo! life.

An estate planning lawyer can help you decide whether you need a secondary beneficiary for your estate plan or for any trusts you create. Chances are, you do.

Beneficiaries are commonly named in wills and trust documents. They are also used in life insurance policies and in retirement accounts. After the account owner dies, the assets are distributed to beneficiaries as described in the legal documents.

The primary beneficiary is a person or entity with the first claim to assets. However, there are times when the primary beneficiary does not accept the assets, can’t be located, or has predeceased the estate owner.

A secondary beneficiary will receive the assets in this situation. They are also referred to as the “remainderman.”

In many cases, more than one contingent beneficiary is named. Multiple secondary beneficiaries might be entitled to receive a certain percentage of the value of the entire estate. More than one secondary beneficiary may also be directed to receive a portion of an individual asset, such as a family home.

Estate planning attorneys may even name an additional set of beneficiaries, usually referred to as tertiary beneficiaries. They receive assets if the secondary beneficiaries are not available or unwilling to accept the assets. In some cases, estate planning attorneys name a remote contingent beneficiary who will only become involved if all of the primary, secondary and other beneficiaries can’t or won’t accept assets.

For example, a person may specify their spouse as the primary beneficiary and children as secondary beneficiaries. A more remote relative, like a cousin, might be named as a tertiary beneficiary, while a charity could be named as a remote contingent beneficiary.

Almost any asset can be bequeathed by naming beneficiaries. This includes assets like real estate (in some states), IRAs and other retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds, annuities, securities, cash and other assets. Secondary and other types of beneficiaries can also be designated to receive personal property including vehicles, jewelry and family heirlooms.

Naming a secondary beneficiary is critical to ensuring that your wishes as expressed in your will are going to be carried out even if the primary beneficiary cannot or does not wish to accept the inheritance. Lacking a secondary beneficiary, the estate assets will have to go through the probate process. Depending on the state’s laws, having a secondary beneficiary avoids having the estate distribution governed by intestate succession. Assets could go to someone who you don’t want to inherit them!

Talk with your estate planning attorney about naming secondary, tertiary and remote beneficiaries. If you would like to learn more about beneficiaries, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: yahoo! life (Jan. 4, 2023) “What You Need to Know About Secondary or Contingent Beneficiaries”

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Prevent some Common Beneficiary Errors

Prevent some Common Beneficiary Errors

Planning for one’s eventual death can be a somber task. However, consider what would occur if you failed to plan: loved ones trying to figure out your intentions, a long and expensive legal battle with unintended heirs and instead of grieving your loss, wondering why you didn’t take care of business while you were living. Planning suddenly becomes far more appealing, doesn’t it? There are ways to prevent some common beneficiary errors.

A recent article from yahoo! finance, “5 Retirement Plan Beneficiary Mistakes to Avoid,” explains how to avoid some of the issues regarding beneficiaries.

You haven’t named a beneficiary for your retirement accounts. This is a common estate planning mistake, even though it seems so obvious. A beneficiary can be a person, a charity, a trust, or your estate. Your estate planning attorney will be able to help you identify likely beneficiaries and ensure they are eligible.

You forgot to review your beneficiary designations for many years. Most people have changes in relationships as they move through the stages of life. The same person who was your best friend in your twenties might not even be in your life in your sixties. However, if you don’t check on beneficiary designations on a regular basis, you may be leaving your retirement accounts to people who haven’t heard from you in decades and disinheriting loved ones. Every time you update your estate plan, which should be every three to five years, check your beneficiary designations.

You didn’t name your spouse as a primary beneficiary for a retirement account. When Congress passed the 2019 SECURE Act, the bill removed a provision allowing non-spousal beneficiaries to stretch out disbursements from IRAs over their lifetimes, also known as the “Stretch IRA.” A non-spouse beneficiary must empty any inherited IRA within ten years from the death of the account holder. If a minor child is the beneficiary, once they reach the age of legal majority, they are required to follow the rules of a Required Minimum Distribution. Having a spouse named as beneficiary allows them to move the inherited IRA funds into their own IRA and take out assets as they wish.

You named an estate as a beneficiary. You can name your estate as a beneficiary. However, it creates a significant tangle for the family who has to set things right. For instance, if you have any debt, your estate could be attached by creditors. Your estate may also go through probate court, a court-supervised process to validate your will, have your final assets identified and have debts paid before any remaining assets are distributed to heirs.

You didn’t create a retirement plan until late in your career. Retirement seems very far away during your twenties, thirties and even forties. However, the years pass and suddenly you’re looking at retirement without enough money set aside. Creating an estate plan early in your working life shifts your focus, so you understand how important it is to have a retirement plan.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you prevent some common beneficiary errors as part of your overall estate plan. The best time to start? How about today? If you would like to learn more about beneficiary designations, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: yahoo! finance (Dec. 19, 2022) “5 Retirement Plan Beneficiary Mistakes to Avoid”

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Information in our blogs is very general in nature and should not be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Please feel free to contact Texas Trust Law to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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