Level 5 Financial Blog
Previous recent posts have emphasized the need for us all to develop and implement an estate plan. One of the necessary steps in doing so is to name an executor for your will and estate. Your executor will act on your behalf when you are deceased and can perform all of the legal tasks you used to do. Some can be mundane, such as paying bills, canceling credit cards, etc., while others can involve more complexity like selling a residence, distributing assets, and filing income tax returns. A good article by Daniel A. Timins, Esq., CFP® in the August 8, 2017 edition of Kiplinger magazine discusses what traits make for a good executor.
None of us likes to contemplate our own demise, but good estate planning requires us to do so. Many people believe that while estate planning can sometimes be very expensive it will always be complicated. While it is true that complex estate situations can entail significant expense, understanding the basics of some of the available estate planning tools may remove a bit of the mystery.
The SECURE Act was passed and signed into law in December 2019 and it included some significant changes in the rules governing IRA’s. Many IRA owners applauded the fact that Required Minimum Distributions—the mandatory withdrawals that apply to traditional IRA’s—-now come into play at age 72 instead of age 70 1/2. These people are pleased with the fact that they can now postpone income taxes for an additional period of time. However, many of these same IRA owners have spent less time absorbing the impact of one of the other major IRA changes, that is, the elimination of the “stretch IRA” for non-spousal beneficiaries.
“Some things do not make me happy to say, but there is a lottery aspect to all of this: when you were born, when you retire, and when your children go to college. And you have no control over that.” John Bogle
We’re two weeks into the new year and many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” is a statement that dates back hundreds of years and aptly describes our human condition. One annual resolution that should be much easier to keep however, is an annual review of our designated account beneficiaries. According to Wikipedia, “a beneficiary in the broadest sense is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor.”