estate planning | Ed Slott and Company, LLC

estate planning

Charity as the Beneficiary and Roth Conversion Penalties: Today’s Q&A Mailbag

This week's Slott Report Mailbag answers readers' questions about leaving money to charities and Roth conversion penalties.

Using the Disclaimer as an Estate Planning Tool

If you’re like me, when you first read the qualified disclaimer rules, the phrase comes “must be nice” comes to mind. And while it’s true these rules are used more often by wealthier Americans, anyone can incorporate them into their estate planning as a tool to make last minute changes. In fact, disclaimers can be a valuable postmortem planning tool giving beneficiaries one last opportunity to divert a bequest to accomplish family goals, such as tax savings.

America’s IRA Experts are in Las Vegas!

This week, Ed and I (Jeffrey Levine) are in Las Vegas for the first ever AICPA Engage Conference. Engage has taken some of the biggest (and in my humble opinion, best) AICPA conferences, such as the Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference and the Advanced Estate Planning Conference, and merged them into one giant conference.

Why You May Reconsider Naming Your Trust as Your IRA Beneficiary

IRAs have been around for decades. You may have had your IRA for years. Maybe many years ago, when you established your IRA, you named a trust as the beneficiary and haven’t thought a lot about it since. You likely spent both time and money drafting the trust and were careful to name the trust on your IRA beneficiary form. Here are some reasons why it might be worth it to reconsider that decision.

Defining "Children" For Estate Planning Purposes Is More Complicated Than You Might Think

"I leave the remainder of my assets to my children." Of all the provisions that may be found within your will or trust, this would seem to be one of the more straightforward of such items... right? Well, you might think so, but that’s not always the case.

AICPA’s National Advanced Estate Conference: RUFADAA Is Most Important Law You Don't Know About

Greetings from the 2016 AICPA National Advanced Estate Planning Conference! Having presented the last of my three sessions here on Monday evening, I’ve been enjoying the rest of my time by meeting many CPAs and other professionals here, as well as attending a host of excellent sessions. One session which I particularly enjoyed was presented by Anne Coventry and Karin Prangley, and covered the latest developments in the area of digital estate planning. That may not seem very important to you at first glance, but the reality is that it could be VERY important. And that importance is only likely to grow in the coming years.

Lessons to Learn From Prince's Estate Tax Problem

Most people are aware by now that Prince, the performer, passed away recently at the age of 57. So far, no one has been able to locate his will. Unlike most of us, Prince had a huge amount of assets held personally, in his own name. That means a long probate process and lots of fees for the lawyers. And that’s without any dissension among his family members. Here are the estate planning lessons to learn from Prince's mistakes.

The Deceased Don't Make Good IRA Beneficiaries

Almost all IRA owners named their IRA beneficiary when they first opened the account. In many cases, it was their spouse or parent. However, disaster can strike if that primary beneficiary dies before you do and you don't update the IRA beneficiary form. This horror story provides a valuable lesson.

2014 Federal Estate Tax Changes and Your Financial Legacy

The Supreme Court has finally spoken. Inherited IRAs are not protected on a federal level from creditors of the beneficiary. This ruling has changed the estate planning landscape in more ways than many understand. Certified Financial Planner Joseph Clark examines the importance of estate planning as the legacy plan for your beneficiaries.

Why You Should NOT Name Your Estate as IRA Beneficiary

naming estate as IRA beneficiary
You're allowed to name anyone as the beneficiary of your IRA. You’re also allowed to name a non-person as your IRA beneficiary. Examples of non-persons would include charities, a trust, or your estate. It is generally not a good move to name your estate as your IRA beneficiary.When you die, your estate includes the property that you owned at the time you died. It’s a legal entity that’s created after you die. Your executor must then pay your expenses and liabilities and distribute the balance according to your will.

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