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Reduce Your Beneficiary’s Taxes

Death and taxesThere’s considerable talk about potential tax reform in Washington.  It is anyone’s guess what that will look like in the end.

Taxes must be a significant concern for those who are doing estate planning in order to pass on their assets to their loved ones. Wise estate planning means you can avoid having a big part of the money you leave your heirs devoured by income taxes. It is a way to move that money to a nontaxable form.

The money you put into a Roth retirement savings account has already been taxed. It was taxed on the contributions you made or as a rollover from a tax-deferred retirement savings account. As a result, everything in that account is now non-taxable for income-tax purposes. So long as the Roth has been open for at least five years prior to your death, the money in that account is won’t be subject to federal income taxes.

In the event you leave the money in your Roth rather than spending it in your retirement, after your death the account will be transferred to the person you designated as a beneficiary. At that point, the Roth account will be subject to the IRS's rules for inherited IRAs.

The beneficiary must then begin to take distributions based on their predicted lifespan (pursuant to the IRS’s actuarial tables). If your beneficiary doesn't simply blow the money in the account right away, the balance in the Roth will continue to grow tax-free, providing them with some untaxed income in the future.

This estate planning strategy works if you don't spend the money in the Roth account yourself. As a result, it's important to plan and find other sources of income to finance your retirement, leaving the Roth account for your heirs.

If you didn't set up a Roth account for yourself before you retired, don't worry, you can execute a Roth conversion at any age.

Reference: Motley Fool (September 14, 2017) “A Clever Way to Cut Your Heirs' Income Taxes”

 

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.