Estate Planning Articles

What Is Required For A Will to Be Legally Binding And Enforceable?

What Makes a Will Legally Binding and Enforceable? For all the stories about great ideas or works of literature starting out as notes scribbled on a napkin, it is not advisable you do the same for your last will and testament. Making your last wishes known requires deliberation, preparation, and a final document of indisputable authenticity and provenance that will not be challenged in probate court. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of

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Making The Most of Restricted Stock and RSUs

Restricted stock and restricted stock units (RSUs) are two alternative forms of employee compensation. They’re a way for a company to incentivize employees with equity in the company. Restricted stock is typically granted as a type of bonus or added compensation, using a vesting schedule. You receive partial ownership of the shares and may be entitled to voting rights and dividends before they vest. Until the stock is vested, however, you can’t sell it. If you

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Including Life Settlements in Your Estate Plan

If you have a life insurance policy you no longer need, you may be able to sell it for significantly more than its cash surrender value (CSV). A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy to a third party. The sale can provide the policy holder with more than the CSV and even more than the premiums paid over the life of the policy. Life insurance settlement companies buy policies and then continue

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RMDs Now Required For Death Beneficiaries

If you inherited an IRA after January 1, 2020, you might be in for a surprise. Under proposed rules issued in February 2022, you might have to start withdrawing that money now. The shift comes as a shock for many. When the Secure Act passed in 2019, it required most death beneficiaries to fully withdraw retirement plan assets within a 10-year window. The expected interpretation was that someone could let that money grow for nine years

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House Passes Secure Act 2.0

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill designed to improve retirement savings. The Securing Strong Retirement Act of 2022, also called Secure Act 2.0, was approved with a bipartisan vote of 414-5. Next, the legislation heads to the Senate. However, lawmakers there have a retirement reform package of their own. Analysts say there’s about a one-third overlap between the House and Senate bills. Both seek to raise the age for required minimum distributions, increase catch-up

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How To Protect Your Child’s Inheritance From Their Spouse

One concern we hear in the estate planning process is how to protect an adult child’s inheritance from their spouse. Sometimes this stems from a place of animosity or concern over a child’s problem partner. Some people are concerned about divorce-proofing the assets they’ll leave behind for their kids. Still others simply believe that inheritances are best kept in the “family.” Naming your child alone as inheritor. The most basic option you have is to leave

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Making It Easier For Loved Ones To Settle Your Estate

For many people, estate planning is about more than transferring assets after you’re gone. It can be about making life easier on your survivors and smoothing the way for your loved ones at what is sure to be a difficult time. If that’s one of the “gifts” you’d like to leave behind, consider taking the following steps. Work with an attorney: Consult an attorney who will help you prepare a correctly executed will and/or living trust.

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Using Intrafamily Loans In Your Estate Plan

Interest rates are still at historic lows, despite an expected Federal Reserve rate hike. At times like these, families have a unique opportunity to transfer wealth via an intrafamily loan. An intrafamily loan is a way for family members to loan money to each other at a special rate. They might be used to help a relative buy a house or finance a startup, for example. But for some families, they’re a tool to transfer assets

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The Afterlife of Litigation: What You Need to Know About Inheriting a Lawsuit

What to Do When Probate Meets Civil Litigation  Civil litigation and the probate process: both can potentially drag out for months, if not years; both cost those involved dearly in both financial and emotional terms; both can be made less likely, or less painful, by careful planning and consultation with skilled legal representation. Yet, even the best-laid plans can go awry; sometimes probate and litigation meet head-on. There are times in which one’s inheritance might include

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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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