The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]

Don’t Delay! To-Do List for the End of the Year

Jennifer Santini / December 2, 2014
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It is hard to believe we are at that time of year again when a new year will be upon us in only a matter of days. The countdown is on – only 30 days until 2015. Here are a few reminders of things to do before we say goodbye to 2014. Take Your Required […]

Supreme Court Rules on Inherited IRAs

Jamie Held / July 17, 2014
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On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a divisive bankruptcy and estate planning case.  At issue was whether an individual retirement account (“IRA”) that a debtor inherited was exempt from the debtor’s bankruptcy estate under the Bankruptcy Code.  The Bankruptcy Code permits a debtor to protect assets that are in a “retirement […]

Don’t Leave Your Money Behind

Jennifer Santini / March 13, 2014
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Recently, Joe Larson wrote about what to do when you’ve been terminated by your employer and what your rights are with respect to your personnel file. It raises a reminder that whether you have been laid off, terminated or voluntarily opted to leave your job you shouldn’t forget about your 401(k) when you move on. […]

Beneficiary Designations and Estate Planning for Retirement Accounts

Maggie Green / October 7, 2013
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One of the most commonly overlooked items I see in client’s estate plans and during probate administrations is retirement accounts and their beneficiary designations. I think this has to do with the cumbersome nature of updating beneficiary designations.  You call the plan administrator or custodian who sends you paperwork with tiny print and all sorts […]

Avoiding Power of Attorney Abuse

Maggie Green / July 26, 2013
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In a previous post I spelled out the basics of the changes made to Minnesota’s Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney that will take effect January 1, 2014. As I mentioned, many of these changes were made to address the potential for abuse. Indeed, a Power of Attorney document gives broad and sweeping powers to […]

Backdoor Roth IRAs

Jonathan Scharlau / February 20, 2013
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Although you may earn too much to contribute to a Roth IRA, there is no income restriction to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. What is a Backdoor Roth IRA? The Backdoor Roth IRA is an indirect way to contribute to a Roth IRA when your income is too high to contribute directly […]

Inherited Retirement Accounts Part II: Non-Spouse Beneficiary

Jennifer Santini / April 27, 2012
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We previously discussed the options available to a surviving spouse inheriting a qualified retirement account. This article will address the options available to a non-spouse beneficiary inheriting a qualified retirement account. Just for a brief reminder, for purposes of this article, the term “retirement account” will be used to encompass all qualified retirement accounts, meaning […]

Inherited Retirement Accounts Part I: Spouse Beneficiary

Jennifer Santini / April 13, 2012
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There is often confusion about what to do when a beneficiary inherits a retirement account. The answer is… it depends. There are different factors to determine the best course of action, such as the beneficiary and the age of the decedent. For purposes of this article, the term “retirement account” will be used to encompass […]

3 Steps to a Thoughtful Beneficiary Review

Chris Hiestand / February 18, 2012
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Make Sure Your Money Goes to the Right Person after You’re Gone There is so much information available about personal finances that you could spend your entire life reading all of it and you would never reach the end. Usually personal financial topics are geared toward what to do with your investments or how to […]

Baby Boomers Leaving Less to Children

Jamie Held / November 8, 2011
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I read a recent “LA Times” article and the message hit home.  My parents have been telling my sisters and me for years now that we are receiving our inheritance when we need it most … now, for expenses such as our education, purchasing our first homes and our weddings.  Apparently my parents are not […]