Passage of SECURE Act expected
Estate planners have been watching Congress closely, waiting to see what will happen with the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The legislation, designed to boost Americans’ retirement savings, has implications for individual savers and for those planning to pass an inheritance to the next generation.
The SECURE Act passed the House of Representatives in May with a nearly unanimous margin of 417-3. The bill is considered to have strong bipartisan support and advocates are optimistic it will pass by year-end. If it doesn’t pass via a unanimous consent vote in the fall, pundits suggest it will be attached to a year-end spending bill.
Naming a guardian for your minor child
Resist the urge to avoid naming a guardian as part of your estate plan simply because it’s not easy to imagine someone else raising your children. If you don’t, you leave the guardianship of your children up to the courts if you pass away. Think about who, starting with your family members, would be the best choice.
Setting up a medical ID on your phone
You may already be familiar with the idea of setting an “in case of emergency” contact that displays on the lock screen of your phone to let emergency personnel know whom to call if you’re found alone unconscious or unable to speak.
Smartphone providers now offer enhanced options that let you provide even more emergency information, such as medical conditions and allergies.
Newer iPhones make it easy with their integrated Health app, but there are ways Android users can provide similar information.
Attorney Steve Weyer to give presentation on Estate Planning.
Cohen & Caproni attorney Steve Weyer will give his presentation, “Estate Planning is for Everybody,” at 9:45am on Sunday, January 26, at the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Atlanta, Georgia. This program provides an overview of the basic documents of estate planning: Wills, Advance Directives for Health Care, and Financial Powers of Attorney. Other matters to be discussed include beneficiary designations and charitable gift planning. Attendees will receive the information needed to start the process of practical and values-driven estate planning.
Revisiting Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) has long been a fundamental tool for managing federal estate tax liabilities. But with a sizable increase in the federal estate tax exclusion, some families are wondering if their ILIT is even relevant anymore.
An ILIT owns your life insurance policy for you, essentially removing it from your estate. ILITs were popular for their ability to shelter life insurance proceeds from estate taxes. They also give the grantor the ability to direct who benefits from the trust and how the proceeds are to be used.
But the Tax Cuts and Job Act doubled the estate tax exemption. In 2019, the exemption is $11.4 million per individual, indexed to inflation. That means many ILITs that were created to offset estate taxes are no longer needed.
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