The HSA: A healthy supplement to your wealth-building regimen

A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be a powerful tool for financing health care expenses while supplementing your other retirement savings vehicles. And it offers estate planning benefits to boot. ABCs of an HSA Similar to a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, an HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account funded with pretax dollars. Funds can […]

What Estate Planning Strategies Are Available For Non-U.S. Citizens?

Are you, or is your spouse, a non-U.S. citizen? If so, several traditional estate planning techniques won’t be available to you. However, if you’re a U.S. resident, but not a citizen, the IRS will treat you similarly to a U.S. citizen. If you’re considered a resident, you’re subject to federal gift and estate taxes on […]

Opening Up To SLAT Opportunities

Estate tax planning can become complicated when multiple parties are involved. For example, you may be concerned about providing assets to a surviving spouse of a second marriage, while also providing for your children from your first marriage. Of course, you also want to take advantage of favorable estate tax provisions in the law. Fortunately, […]

Careful Planning Required For Beneficiaries To Borrow From A Trust

Intrafamily loans allow you to provide financial assistance to loved ones — often at favorable terms — while potentially reducing gift and estate taxes. But what about families that lack the liquid assets to make such loans? Are there other options if they have a trust? One lesser-known possibility is for trust beneficiaries to borrow […]

Does Your Trust Need Protection?

Designing an estate plan can be a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, you want to preserve as much wealth as possible for your family by protecting it from estate taxes and creditors’ claims. On the other hand, you want to have some control over your assets during your life. Unfortunately, these two goals […]

With Proper Planning, A Charitable Remainder Trust Can Replicate A “Stretch” IRA

The “stretch” IRA generally no longer exists. But if you have a substantial balance in a traditional IRA, a properly designed charitable remainder trust (CRT) can allow you to replicate many of its benefits. SECURE Act’s effects on stretch IRAs For years, a stretch IRA was an effective tool that allowed your children or other […]

Avoiding Undue Influence Claims

A primary purpose of estate planning is to ensure that your wealth is distributed according to your wishes after you die. But if a family member challenges the plan, that purpose may be defeated. If the challenge is successful, a judge will decide who’ll inherit your property. Will contests and similar challenges often occur when […]

Making Funeral Arrangements In Advance Can Ease Family Turmoil After Your Death

It’s difficult for many people to think about their mortality, so it’s not surprising to learn that many put off planning their own funerals. Unfortunately, this lack of planning may result in emotional turmoil for surviving family members when someone dies unexpectedly. Also, a death in the family may cause unintended financial consequences. Why not […]

Consider All The Angles Of Joint Ownership

Estate planners generally tout the virtues of owning property jointly — and with good reason. Joint ownership offers several advantages for surviving family members. But this shouldn’t be viewed as a panacea for every estate planning concern. You must also be aware of all the implications. 2 types of joint ownership As the name implies, […]