Not every client or situation is the same. Some clients require extensive planning preparation to meet their goals while others need only a few simple documents. When you schedule a free consultation with our team, you are given an opportunity to share your goals for the future. This vision helps us better recommend which estate planning documents you will need to help you accomplish your plans.
Our team truly loves helping you understand estate planning documents such as a power of attorney (POA), healthcare proxy or healthcare representative (healthcare POA), living will declaration, last will and testament, and trusts. These documents can prevent hard-earned assets from slipping away, keep the best care available to you as you age, and make sure that your wishes are the first consideration.
Whether you have worked hard for what you have or are a steward of something that was gifted to you, knowing your options for protecting your assets is essential. We can work with you to keep what is yours, yours.
- It could be that you want to ensure that you have assets to share with children or other heirs upon your passing
- Perhaps you are approaching retirement and want to keep your home and retirement accounts from being “seen” in a Medicaid look-back as you embark on the need for nursing home or rehabilitation facility services.
- As you enter a marriage, be it first or fifth, you may want a pre-nuptial agreement that streamlines family assets to other family members.
- Outstanding debt can put a damper on an inheritance. Estate planning can provide protection for assets so that creditors cannot seize them.
- If you were to become ill and require in-home care, maybe you want to heal peacefully knowing that you are not at risk of losing your home to a live-in caregiver.
- We work with clients who have very limited assets and clients who have more assets than they could ever utilize in a single lifetime. No matter how much stuff, money, or property you have, we believe that it should be managed according to your wishes.
Estate Planning With Retirement Accounts
When you have retirement accounts that are to be part of your estate plan there are conditions that must be met to properly link those accounts to your written wishes. Not every retirement plan is the same and not all plans are cookie-cutter.
A common investment strategy involves assets inside an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), company pension plan (like a 401k) or retirement plan available to employees who work for non-profits or educational institutions (known as a 403(b)). These account types are called qualified plans. This means the contributor did not pay taxes on the money when they put it into the account. While the money remains invested, it grows, tax-deferred (or tax free), until distributions are made later.
Sadly, this tax deferred plan must ultimately pay taxes. If you were to draw any income from your plan or if you withdraw before age 55.5, there will be income taxes due and sometimes early withdrawal penalties, too. Also, once you reach age 70.5, you must begin taking a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) each calendar year, which again is subject to income tax.
At your passing, your spouse (if he/she is the named beneficiary) may roll over the retirement funds received to a retirement asset of their own. This is often an advantageous option; though, there are a few disadvantages (i.e. like if the spouse has creditors). The roll over option, unfortunately, is not available to non-spousal beneficiaries. So… then what?