IRA and Retirement Planning

Estate planning strategies can also help to minimize your tax liabilities and help prepare you for retirement. One common practice is for clients or retirees to roll their 401(k) accounts into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and as a result the IRA, becomes a significant portion of the estate. IRA’s are tax sensitive vehicles and with the knowledge and experience of the estate planning attorneys at Altman & Associates techniques such as stretching out an IRA (IRA stretch planning) can maximize the investment vehicle.

There are other important considerations to be given to the naming of your beneficiary for an IRA. IRA’s do not go through the probate process, but are instead distributed directly to the person named as beneficiary. There are many good reasons to name your spouse as your beneficiary and most people do however, issues can arise in the case of blended families. Some people are concerned that their spouses would roll over the money to their own IRA and name their own children as the beneficiaries. A solution to this concern could be to create a trust and name it as the beneficiary for your IRA, (IRA Trust).

Many people never update or change their beneficiary designations on their retirement plans.  Failure to do so can result in many an unintended consequence.  In addition, people name their minor children as the contingent beneficiaries only to see those children receiving benefits by age 18. Others name a trust as the beneficiary, but have failed to make certain that the trust qualifies under the IRS regulations.  At Altman & Associates as part of our estate planning engagement process we work with clients to make sure their beneficiary designations are correct ensuring that the right people will get the benefits of the plan.

The attorneys at Altman & Associates have a background in tax planning for corporations and wealthy individuals. Mr. Altman, with his masters in tax (L.L.M.) specializes in advising individuals and families on retirement and tax-planning issues to maximize their estate for themselves and their heirs.

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