Estate Planning is the process of determining how your wealth and assets should be transferred to the heirs of your choice: your children, grandchildren, friends, families, charitable causes, etc. and then deciding which legal tools and structures to use to best meet your estate planning goals.
Estate planning is not simply reducing or eliminating taxes and avoiding probate. Only after establishing how you want your estate’s assets to be distributed should you consider ways to reduce taxes and avoid probate. From there, good estate plans deal with a host of other issues. Now, with all but a few estates exempt from the federal estate tax, those other issues are, or should be, at the forefront of estate planning.
An estate plan is to ensure that you are taken care of the rest of your life and that your wealth is transferred to the people you want to have it. A good estate plan ensures these goals are accomplished with as much efficiency and as little cost as possible. An estate plan addresses the management and distribution of an individual’s property and financial obligations after he or she dies with financial tools such as wills, revocable living trusts and power of attorney.
For a comprehensive overview of Estate Planning, please start with our article:
Found 707 Articles.
Get access to our full article archive by subscribing to Retirement Watch and Retirement Watch Spotlight Series.
Housing is staging a comeback, and that’s likely to help economic growth the rest of the year. The Fed’s tighter monetary policy caused housing to stall for most of the last year or so. Sales and construction were down, and prices increased at a lower rate. After the Fed announced a pause in its tightening […]
Your retirement plan should assume inflation will be higher than the published numbers, whether you already are retired or still looking forward to it. The most widely cited measure of inflation is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers. This measure generally has been declining since it peaked in the early 1980s. In […]
Markets have been rallying, but investors don’t seem to be very bullish. Stock indexes, of course, have strong returns so far in 2019. The NASDAQ 100, as represented by the QQQ exchange-traded fund (ETF), is up about 14.5% for the year to date. The S&P 500 gained more than 12.5% and the Russell 2000 index […]
One of the stiffest penalties in the tax code is the one for not taking the correct required minimum distribution (RMD) from an IRA or other qualified retirement plan. You pay a whopping 50% of the amount that was supposed to be distributed but wasn’t. This penalty is in addition to paying income taxes on […]
What you don’t know about retirement can hurt you. In fact, just a few wrong decisions in your investments, taxes, or estate planning could completely derail your retirement plans. Worse yet, the rules of the game keep changing, making it harder to keep up. For these reasons, I’ve assembled all the key points – everything you need to know — into one comprehensive report. Click here today for free access.
The best description for the legacy plans of most Americans ages 55 and over is NOGO. The acronym stands for “not in good order” or simply “not good.” It is a phrase often used by estate and financial planners to summarize the state of the financial and estate plans of new clients. Most people know […]
How much should we rely on recent economic data? I say, “Not much.” There are major anomalies in recent data, creating more noise than usual. Two major reports from last Friday are prime examples. Retail sales for December declined sharply, yet January’s sales increased briskly, especially after excluding autos and gas. But as I explain […]
Every retirement is unique. Yet, there are universal issues that concern almost every retirement. Most of these questions apply to pre-retirees, retirees and those who have reached the traditional retirement years but are still in the labor force. In this month’s Retirement Watch Spotlight Series online seminar, we discuss the 10 questions that should be […]
While the headlines focus on how the major stock indexes are doing, it’s important to examine the details of what’s happening within the indexes from time to time as well. Looking under the hood of an index is important because a few stocks can lead the index higher or lower and hide what is happening […]