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Estate Planning Archives

What to consider when choosing an IRA beneficiary

Anyone in New York or any other state who has an IRA will ideally name a beneficiary to that account. This is because failing to do so means that it goes into a person's estate when he or she dies. That may increase the potential tax bill that the estate has to pay. In addition to naming a primary beneficiary, it may be necessary to name alternate beneficiaries. Doing so can be helpful in the event that the primary beneficiary dies.

Estate planning mistakes related to benefit plan designations

Many people who start new jobs in New York don't think much about the assortment of paperwork they first get from HR. Some of these documents, such as life insurance forms, company stock purchase plans and retirement plans, require beneficiaries to be named. But when it comes to who gets what when it's time to pass along assets, there's a common assumption that details of this nature will be covered by a will.

How to tell if an estate plan needs work

New York residents and others may not like the thought of estate planning. However, reviewing a plan on a regular basis can help to ensure that it does what an individual wants or needs it to do. For instance, a review session can help to identify whether there are critical components that need to be included. These components could include a will and powers of attorney, and those components should be updated at least once a decade.

Family conflicts pose estate planning challenge

When New York residents make plans for the future, they may run up against entrenched, emotional family conflicts. According to a survey conducted by one banking institution, family conflict outweighs market volatility and tax reform as the major challenge to estate planning. The survey included 105 participants in an annual conference on estate planning that involved professionals throughout the sector such as attorneys, insurance advisers, accountants and trust officers. Almost half of the respondents said that family issues posed the biggest problem to completing an estate plan.

What decanting is and how it may help trust holders "fix" trusts

There was a time when someone in New York with significant assets that they wanted to pass along to their children in a controlled manner would likely be advised to set up an irrevocable trust. The problem is that such trusts are close to impossible to amend. This can present further issues for trust holders with adult children who not quite ready to responsibly handle regular disbursements.

Compelling reasons to have an estate plan at any stage of life

It's not necessary for anyone in New York weighing their estate-related options to have substantial assets to benefit from this type of proactive planning. Yet, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), more than half of all adults and millennials do not have basic documents like a will or living trust.

Estate planning basics for New York art collectors

Wealthy art collectors in New York are usually very passionate about their art, and art aficionados who can afford to amass impressive collections aren't too concerned about disposing of any of their prized possessions. This usually means that when an affluent art enthusiast passes away, they have a sizable stash of valuable works of art. Unfortunately, another thing that wealthy art collectors have in common is a lack of proper estate planning.

What to consider in estate planning

The end of the holiday season and transition into a new year is an ideal time to prepare an estate plan. New York residents should start by inventorying their assets both large and small. It is critical that a person doesn't forget to leave behind a list of online passwords or other instructions related to digital assets. It is also important to have a conversation with other family members to articulate that plan once it is made.

The estate planning benefits of life insurance

Those who are turning 55 in the near future may still be trying to find solutions to both current and long-term financial issues. However, New Yorkers who are attempting to create an estate plan may want to make a life insurance policy a part of that plan. Perhaps the most important benefit of a life insurance policy is that it can provide cash at the time of a person's death.

Methods for revoking a power of attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most useful and versatile estate planning tools available to New York residents. The document will appoint an agent, or attorney-in-fact, to act in the place of the principal with limited or broad powers. If it's a durable power of attorney, the powers will continue if the principal becomes disabled.