Estate Planning Articles

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)? What are the new rules for RMDs? How do you calculate RMDs?

Planning Your Estate Around IRAs: What You Need to Know About Required Minimum Distributions With the decline of employer-funded pensions, and the steady decrease of Social Security checks’ purchasing power compared against inflation, an individual retirement account (IRA) has proven to be an important part of millions of Americans’ retirement savings. However, an IRA is also an important factor to consider when planning your estate. How Are IRAs Inherited? IRAs can be inherited, like most financial

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When To Use A Special Needs Trust

Special-Needs Trusts: An Overview of a Useful Estate-Planning Tool In planning one’s estate, one seeks to make one’s passing easier, financially, logistically, and emotionally, for loved ones. In planning for the future, you likely have given special consideration to loved ones who would not be able to provide for themselves if you were gone, such as minor children. While children eventually grow up, some conditions and disabilities that prevent a person from working or living independently

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SEC expands accredited investor definition

In order to participate directly in private equity markets, individuals must meet the Security Exchange Commission’s definition of an “accredited investor.” Now, new rules have expanded that definition, opening a few more opportunities for investment in private equity and hedge funds. Previously, requirements were based largely on financial status. An individual needed an annual income of at least $200,000 (or $300,000 combined with a spouse) and a net worth of at least $1 million, not including

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Moving? Remember to unpack that estate plan

There’s a lot to think about when you move. In all the hustle and work of a relocation, certain things can get forgotten. Once you have the utilities on and the boxes unpacked, it’s time to have your estate planning documents reviewed by an attorney in your new home state. Here’s a list of updates that might be needed:   Estate taxes: Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia have state-specific inheritance or estate taxes.

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Don’t shut me down: Planning for digital assets

In a world gone increasingly remote, managing your digital assets has become an even more important part of estate planning. From email accounts to digital photos and cloud-based storage, almost everyone owns some kind of digital asset. Terms-of-service agreements and privacy policies govern these accounts and generally expire when you die. That means surviving family members may not be able to access your email, photos, social media accounts, etc. However, emerging laws are providing a legal

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Demands for wills surged during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rise in estate planning, and yet too many Americans still aren’t planning ahead. Last spring, news reports were rife with stories of advisors experiencing a surge in demand for wills and estate planning. Power of attorney and health care directives were also a focus, as people made decisions about who could access their medical and financial records and who could make decisions on their behalf. The Q4 Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and

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Looking towards estate planning changes under new administration

Tax changes are expected under the new administration. We don’t know how quickly President Joe Biden will move to enact his tax proposals, or whether the Democrats’ thin margin in Congress will be a moderating force. Many analysts believe that economic recovery will be the administration’s first priority, meaning we might not see immediate action. But the pandemic has required high levels of government spending that could accelerate demand for tax increases. Now is the time

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Living Without a Healthcare Proxy: A Risk to Avoid

Your Life, Your Way Healthcare decisions are among the most personal, and most consequential, any of us can make. For many of us, there may come a time when old age, illness, or injury will prevent us from voicing our wishes and concerns about what we prefer for our bodies, or even how we prefer to spend the remainder of our lives. In light of this, everyone needs to make provision, in writing, for someone else

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Massachusetts Estate Planning: What to Do When Your Health Care Proxy Cannot Be Relied Upon

The Best-Laid Plans You did it. You did what so many of your friends and family members have not, what you yourself dragged your feet on for years longer than you should have. You made arrangements for your estate, appointed a health care proxy, and relaxed, knowing that your family and doctors will have a clear idea of your wishes even when you are no longer able to communicate those wishes. And then you hit a

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Dying Without a Will in Massachusetts

What Happens When You Can’t Take It with You? As of 2020, up to 60% of Americans had not created a will. While it may seem like a hassle that can be put off for another day, tomorrow is never guaranteed, and the hassle of dying intestate (without a last testament) is far greater than investing in the peace of mind that a will brings. Without a will, everything and everyone that depends on you—real estate

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