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Friday, May 6, 2016

Taking Care of Your Wealth

Families that have created high value businesses often don’t take the necessary precautions in order for it to continue after they have passed it on.  There have been countless mistakes made causing family fortunes to diminish that could have just as easily been avoided.  Staying aware of all possible financial weaknesses and being proactive with planning and long-term strategies will prolong your family’s wealth for generations.

Failing to realize weaknesses among your financial plan such as not having the correct beneficiary named can leave assets subject to probate.  An incident such as this may be inconvenient but needs to be taken care of in a timely manner or else risk losing the assets.  Only 56% of American parents have a will or living trust.  This means that just under half of American families have not yet planned for what will happen to their wealth and how it will get there.  If you factor in history of family health, separated marriages or family business owners then more extreme planning is necessary that involves coordinating the estate and succession planning.

Although technology has become a major factor in building a business it also has its’ disadvantages.  More and more computer hackers are gaining access to email accounts allowing them to have control of bank accounts, brokerage information and asset transfers. This can be devastating to a business because it not only loses money but shows weakness and flaw to clients.  Security systems can be put in place to avoid such error but it is important to meet half way.  Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and keep vital information protected.

When talking about future planning it is necessary to include anyone who might have access to the estate.  Not including children on decision making can neglect them from understanding the process of sustaining wealth.  Without keeping them updated on how and why decisions are made they will be inexperienced when it comes time for them to be the prime decision maker.

It is never too early to begin planning for your future.  Developing a strategic financial plan can have potential to increase a family’s wealth and prolong it for generations.  Collaboration between family members and professionals will enhance your future and put your mind at ease. 

 


Posted by: David Shober at 4:26 PM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.






Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Estate Planning

Estate planning is essential, but many individuals delay this because nobody enjoys talking about the end. Many individuals haven’t created a will or started planning at all. If this is the case, it is important to get a jump start, and start planning now. It may be overwhelming, so talking to professional for help will greatly reduce stress and reduce the change for emotional and legal issues.

First, make a will if you have not done so already, and then make a living will and a durable financial and medical power of attorney.

The living will states your wants clearly involving medical treatments; it is basically instructions for what you want. A durable medical power of attorney will allow someone else to take responsibility and make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make these decisions for yourself.

Think about and review your beneficiary designations. Your 401(k), life insurance need to have someone that you trust. Whoever is your beneficiary for your life insurance will get the death benefit when you pass, even if your will states otherwise. It is important to plan ahead so start estate planning as early as possible.

Estate planning can involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations.


Posted by: Patrick Carroll at 9:31 AM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.






Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Right Beneficiary: Make sure the correct person inherits your IRA or 401(k)

Here’s a simple financial question:  who is the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), life insurance policy or annuity?  You may be able to answer quickly and easily, or you might say, “You know…I’m not sure.”  Whatever your answer, it’s a good idea to review your beneficiary designations every few years.

Your choices may need to change with the times.  While your beneficiary choices may seem obvious when you initially make them, time has a way of altering things.   In a stretch of five or ten years, some major changes can occur in your life that may warrant changes in your beneficiary decisions.  You may even want to review them annually and here’s why.  Companies frequently change custodians when it comes to retirement plans and insurance policies and beneficiary designations can get lost in the paper shuffle.  If you don’t have a designated beneficiary on your 401(k), the assets may go to the “default” beneficiary when you pass away, which might throw a wrench into your estate planning.

Naming a beneficiary also helps to keep your assets out of probate when you pass away. Beneficiary designations commonly take priority over bequests made in a will or living trust.  If you named a son or daughter who is now estranged from you as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, he or she is in line to receive the death benefit when you die, regardless of what your will states.  Beneficiary designations allow life insurance proceeds to transfer automatically to heirs and do not have to go through probate.

Are your beneficiary designations up to date?  Don’t assume and don’t guess.  Make sure your assets are set to transfer to the people or institutions you prefer.  


Posted by: Patrick Carroll at 9:28 AM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.






Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Legacy Planning can be even more important than estate planning.

Estate planning is important, but legacy planning can be even more important because it will communicate to your heirs your wants, wishes, and needs. Legacy planning involves financial security, the distribution and management of your estate, and protecting your estate and business.

If you pass away unexpectedly, a legacy plan will state your wants and wishes and the direction you want your financials to go. It communicates your lifetime experiences so your heirs know what you would want to do with your business and estate in the event that you pass.

 In estate planning many factors involve your heirs; in legacy planning this also holds true but it additionally involves you as the number one factor. When it comes to legacy planning you come first! Get your financials in order before planning for your heir's. Think of it this way: how can you plan for your heirs if you haven’t planned for yourself?


Posted by: Patrick Carroll at 9:27 AM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.






Friday, July 24, 2015

Charitable Gifting Can Help Your Financials and Estate Planning

There are a variety of options when it comes to charitable gifting, and these options come with excellent benefits. These benefits include tax reductions and exemptions; they can also help with your estate planning.

Charitable gift annuities are planned giving and the process is simple to understand. You donate money to a charity in exchange for a tax deduction and an annual income. When you pass away the charity keeps the gift based on the balance of money you donated.

Charitable remainder trusts are irrevocable and meant to reduce taxes. They can be valuable in estate planning. These trusts have the individual donate their assets into it. After the initial donation, the individual is paid for a certain period of time. Once that time period is over, the assets in the trust goes to the chosen charity. One of the main reasons people use the Charitable Remainder trusts are due to the capital gains exemption and the estate tax advantages.

Charitable lead trusts are the opposite of charitable remainder trusts. You start by transferring your assets into the trust. Then it pays the charity a percentage of the assets or estate value for a period of time.  At the conclusion of that time period your heirs will gain the estate in the trust and the taxes on the estate will be remarkably reduced. 


Posted by: Patrick Carroll at 9:54 AM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.






Friday, July 24, 2015

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Putting Your Home into a Trust

There are different reasons for putting your home into a trust; some may want to provide better protection for their assets from creditors. Others may want to reduce probate, or estate and gift taxes. Trusts can also assure a transfer to an heir under a set of conditions. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to consider the different options. There are revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts.

Revocable living trusts are good because they are changeable (revocable), you are able to make changes to the trust conditions as long as you are alive. This kind of trust will have rules for all of your assets and where they are going to go when you die. Also, since you will be the creator of the trust you can choose whomever you want to be your trustee. The advantages of this kind of trust are you can avoid probate and your privacy is preserved, you can transfer your personal assets and have them remain private. The disadvantages would be that you have to re-title your property in the name of the trust. Also it can be expensive to plan, so be prepared for the costs of a lawyer.

Irrevocable trusts are good for minimizing estate taxes, but they make you give up control of your estate. When you transfer your estate into the trust it is no longer yours so therefore it is no longer part of your taxable estate.  The downside would be that the estate might have gift taxes since it is considered a gift to the trustee or heir.

Estate planning can involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations.  Tax laws surrounding estate planning concepts are subject to change.  You should consider the counsel of an experienced-estate planning attorney or other professional before implementing any strategy.


Posted by: Patrick Carroll at 9:52 AM
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This material is intended for historical purposes and may be outdated. Its contents should not be relied upon as current information. For more up-to-date information regarding these topics, contact your financial professional.