Qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k)’s and IRA’s have a terminology all their own. Any withdrawal from your account that you take after you reach age 59 ½ is called a Normal Distribution. A Normal Distribution is not the same as a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). From age 59 ½ to age 70 ½, you’re free to withdraw any amount you wish from your retirement account, including nothing at … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between a Normal Distribution and A Required Minimum Distribution?
A Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning method for avoiding probate, among other things. When you establish a Revocable Living Trust, you transfer your assets to a Trustee, who will manage them on your behalf and, after you pass away, on behalf of your remainder beneficiaries. Your Trust Agreement is the document that establishes the trust and gives your Trustee instructions on how to … [Read more...] about What is a Revocable Living Trust?
Part of a having a complete estate plan is putting together a disability plan, including a Healthcare Power of Attorney. This document allows you to appoint a healthcare agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are too sick or injured to make those decisions on your own. A lot of people automatically name their spouse or child without considering what a healthcare agent will … [Read more...] about Choosing a Healthcare Agent
If you need to make a change to your Revocable Living Trust; for example, naming a new Successor Trustee, or eliminating a single, specific provision, you’ll need a Trust Amendment. A Trust Amendment is a legal document that makes changes to certain parts of your Revocable Living Trust but leaves the rest of the provisions unchanged. If you want to make changes to your trust, it’s important … [Read more...] about How do I Change My Revocable Living Trust?
With the American population aging, more than 40% of us are expected to need some type of long-term care during our lifetimes. Long-term care encompasses traditional nursing homes as well as assisted living facilities, certain types of hospital stays after surgery and other procedures, and care provided in the home. One feature common to all types of long-term care is that it tends to be … [Read more...] about Long Term Care Insurance: The Basics
Before you meet with your estate planning attorney, it helps to be familiar with some of the terminology you’ll be encountering. Here’s a brief introduction. Will A legal document that takes effect after your death and with which you specify how property titled in your name alone will be distributed and to whom. You can also use your will to name a … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Glossary
You hear about annuities all the time, especially in association with retirement planning, but do you really know what one is? At core, annuities are pretty simple. When you buy an annuity, you’re called the annuitant and you’re giving money to a company in return for payments in a fixed amount over a period of time, either for life or for a term of years. You can make a series of payments for … [Read more...] about Annuities 101
Joint ownership is when more than one person owns a piece of land or a financial asset and how you own the property can affect how your estate is settled upon your death. There are three basic types of joint ownership: Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship This type of ownership gives both owners full ownership of the asset and is most commonly seen in real estate property. In this case, if … [Read more...] about What is Joint Ownership?
A Living Trust is one you create while you are alive. One common type of living trust is a revocable living trust often used in place of a regular Last Will and Testament. A living trust is applicable during your lifetime and can benefit both you and your beneficiaries while you’re still alive. A Living Trust allows you to retain control of the assets, and if you should become mentally or … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between a Testamentary Trust and a Living Trust?
If you’re starting to learn about the estate planning tools available to you, you’ve probably heard a little about trusts. But what are trusts and how do they work for you? A trust is a separate legal entity that holds ownership to your assets. Depending upon the kind of trust you create, you can continue to maintain control over these assets and do with them as you wish by appointing yourself as … [Read more...] about The Basics of a Trust