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January 2016 Archives

Options for protecting inherited IRA assets

For many people, saving for retirement is a chief and ongoing concern. In addition to a 401k, a Roth IRA is among the most common and beneficial financial vehicles used to save for retirement. A Roth IRA provides not only tax-savings benefits, but there are also no mandatory withdrawals which means that an individual can continue to contribute to and reap the benefits associated with estate tax savings and compounding interest.

What information should I discuss with my estate planning attorney?

By now, readers of this blog likely understand the valuable role that an estate planning attorney can play in helping you discover and achieve your estate planning goals. Still, the thought of actually sitting down with an attorney and discussing some of the most private details of your life can be daunting. To help prepare for and make the most of a first meeting with your attorney, it’s wise to do some prep work.

Important goal in estate planning: reduce estate tax liability

Putting together a comprehensive estate plan involves a variety of considerations and potential goals. These can include leaving behind property for surviving family members, ensuring sound succession of leadership for a family business, giving to charity, and ensuring there is enough money to pay off creditors.

Devising a plan to avoid the probate process

Even if you're not entirely sure what the process entails, it's likely that you've at least heard the term probate and may even know that it's something that many people take steps to avoid. According to the American Bar Association, probate is "the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate." The probate process is notoriously complex, lengthy and costly. What's more, probate records are public which means that anyone can gain access to information related to the value of assets and an overall estate.

Why a will probably isn’t enough

When most people think about creating an estate plan they think about drafting a will. A last will and testament is a legal document that is used to establish your wishes and how you want your legacy to be passed down to heirs and beneficiaries after you pass away. A will can address important issues such as who should have guardianship of your minor children if you and the other parent are no longer able to care for them yourselves.

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