“What in the world does that mean?”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question during almost 30 years in the financial industry. Clients naming beneficiaries on IRAs, 401(k) accounts, annuities, or insurance policies stop dead-in-their-tracks when asked to decide whether they want beneficiaries to...
A loved one has died and you’re in charge of settling the estate. There’s a long checklist of things that need to be done, from notifying Social Security to probate to disposition of assets. One other item on that list is filing the final tax return for the deceased. The...
Someone trusts you so much that they name you to settle their estate after they die. You’re honored they have that much confidence in you, but you don’t think much about what’s involved in settling an estate. Among the long list of items you have to deal with is settling...
Estate planning, like most other things, uses a vast array of tools to accomplish its goal. One of the tools is a trust. But there are more trusts, as the old farmer said, than you can shake a stick at—revocable, irrevocable, living, testamentary, charitable remainder, qualified domestic, special needs,...
When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 became law, estate tax exemptions got a substantial boost. The amount each individual could pass on free of federal estate taxes jumped from $5,490,000 in 2017 to $11,180,000 in 2018.  That amount has increased each year since then based on...
It’s been said that with age comes wisdom, and age and wisdom cause us to ask questions we would never have thought of at the beginning of our adult journey. One of the questions married couples should ask—What happens if I die first? The loss of a spouse is not...
Alhambra's Bob Williams looks at whether you should use a Will or Trust for your estate planning document.
It was called the Great Wealth Transfer, the World War II generation passing its wealth to their kids, the Baby Boomers. Well, it’s about to happen again. Cerulli Associates, a financial industry analysis company, estimates that during the next 25 years $68 trillion will be passed on to the...
You just got the final draft of your estate plan. You’ve been thinking about this for a long time—how you want your estate distributed, who you want to take care of, who you want to benefit. As you scan the document, it includes your exact wishes for disposition of...