Article Library

Category: Estate Planning

Lawmakers killed this tax strategy for the wealthy. Here’s a workaround

Greg Iacurci, CNBC, 02.03.2020

Estate attorneys are hard at work helping clients amend their planning documents following the Secure Act of 2019. Here is a key idea aimed at mitigating some of the damage to the “stretch IRA” strategy.

Andy Ives, Ed Slott & Co., 01.13.2020

Estate planning attorneys are generally giving the SECURE Act the thumbs down because of the significant negative changes to how various types of beneficiaries are treated by the new law. If you have an estate plan you should definitely schedule a review with your attorney to assess what changes you might need to make. And it also illustrates how the government is willing to move the savings and retirement goalposts to raise new revenue – something to always keep in mind when planning for the future.

The Secure Act Includes 1 Critical Tax Change ‘That Will Send Estate Planners Reeling’

Bill Bischof,, 01.01.2020

The new SECURE Act has changed some rules around retirement plans. Good aspects are 1) an increase in the required minimum distribution age to 72 from 70½ years, and 2) the lifting of age limits on making contributions to traditional IRAs. The big negative is the curtailing of the stretch IRA strategy – by which descendants had been able to withdraw inherited IRA funds over their lifespans – which is now truncated to 10 years, with a few exceptions.

Sarah Brenner, J.D., Ed Slott & Co, 07.31.2019

The naming of beneficiaries to your financial accounts is absolutely critical to ensuring the proceeds go to the right individuals, while minimizing potential loss due to taxes, creditors, or subsequent spouses. Everyone’s situation is unique, but the following article lays out a nice summary of key issues to consider.

5 key tax questions when you’re responsible for a loved one’s estate

Bill Bischof,, 08.03.2019

Some basic rules regarding estates that everyone should know.

Protecting Retirement Accounts from Creditors

Rachel L. Sheedy,, 09.03.2019

Fees, investment options, contribution rules, and credit protection levels all factor into whether or not you should roll your employer plan into an IRA. With regard to credit protection, federal law provides generous bankruptcy protection for both 401Ks and IRAs, but individual states determine general creditor protection. In NC, general creditor protection is very strong, with both IRAs and Roth IRAs exempt property for judgments, except for inherited IRAs. In GA only IRAs are protected (not Roths), and then only to the extent necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent. Protections in CA are weaker still.

How to give your home to your adult child tax-free

Bill Bischoff,, 02.24.2019

A good outline of various tax efficient ways to transfer your family home to your children.

With the new tax law, you need to update your estate plan

David Robinson,, 01.16.2018

Estate plans need periodic maintenance after major life events and government rule changes, such as the recent tax law that doubled the estate tax exclusion level. Assets should also be re-titled in accordance with the provisions of any trusts in your estate plan. Any lack of follow through here will prevent your estate plan from operating as intended, with potentially very negative consequences!