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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2014 – Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed that inherited IRA accounts are not protected in bankruptcy as regular retirement accounts are. According to estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll, this is just one of the many reasons that anyone with a significant IRA account should look into the idea of setting up a trust as the beneficiary of an IRA account. “Designating a trust for an IRA account is not for everyone,” Gilfix explained, “but it could be of great benefit to […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2014 – Surviving spouses named as a beneficiary of their deceased spouse’s IRA should carefully consider their options for handling the account. The primary options are to assume the IRA, inherit the IRA, take a lump-sum distribution or disclaim the account. “How an IRA is handled after a spouse’s death can have major tax and financial consequences for the spouse beneficiary,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center. Assuming an IRA means transferring the assets into an IRA in one’s own name. For tax purposes, the IRA […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 17, 2013 – A prominent estate planning attorney says that autumn is the season to take stock of one’s retirement savings. “As we draw close to the end of the year, it is a good time to think about whether your retirement savings plan is on track,” said Michael Gilfix. For many people, a 401(k) is a key part of their retirement savings plan. If an employer matches contributions, then it is a good idea to contribute at least the amount that will be matched. But according to Gilfix, one may want to […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) December 16, 2013 – If one wishes to make charitable gifts as part of a tax-saving strategy, now is the time. Although tax returns are not due until April 15, December is an excellent time to do a “dry run” on one’s tax return in order to establish an estimate of what one expects to pay in taxes. A dry run can also help to determine what charitable giving is possible before the end of the year in order to reduce taxable income and lower tax bills. Newly retired individuals may especially benefit from […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) November 29, 2013 – When someone dies and does not leave a will stipulating what should happen to their, numerous issues must be decided. Often, certain assets fall outside of a will. There are assets that are not dictated by a will, including the proceeds of life insurance; bank accounts, real estate and assets held jointly; property held in a living trust; funds in a 401(k) or IRA; a retirement plan with a beneficiary, and community property with rights of survivorship. The inheritor of such properties – those not covered by a will – […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 18, 2013 – Workers may convert individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from traditional to Roth IRAs, but some who do so will later undo that conversion. Roth IRAs present certain advantages and disadvantages versus traditional IRAs, and each year, many people elect to make the conversion to Roth. When current circumstances or expectations for the future change, as they so often do, that conversion may be undone in a process called “recharacterization.” Estate planning attorney Andrew Hook explains why people convert or recharacterize their accounts and the rules governing the processes. “Contributions to traditional […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 11, 2013 – A recent court decision illustrates the potential pitfalls of investing in “alternative” assets with an individual retirement account. Lawrence Peek and Darrell Fleck of Colorado used assets held in their self-directed IRAs to purchase a fire-safety business. In a May 9, 2013 ruling, a judge for the U.S. Tax Court said that the pair’s actions were not allowed and effectively terminated their accounts when they made the transaction. The two now owe taxes amounting to nearly half a million dollars. “IRA funds can be invested in a number of ways […]


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