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Secure Act

Estate Planning

It’s called the Secure Act, and what you don’t know about it could end up costing thousands.  The Secure Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019, and it means big changes for your pre-tax retirement accounts.

Prior to the Act, those inheriting traditional IRAs could take advantage of stretching the IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs) over a lifetime.  For example, if a grandfather leaves his traditional IRA to his 20-year-old grandchild, the grandchild could stretch those distributions over his or her lifetime, reducing the amount of tax liability he or she would face from those earnings.  This was commonly referred to as a “stretch IRA.”  It was a tool in the estate planner’s toolbox to help defray some of the tax costs to those inheriting these accounts.

The Secure Act has changed this.  The Act requires that the IRA be paid out fully within ten years of the original account holder’s death.  Whether this turns out to be a game-changer for your estate plan depends on multiple factors, so now is the time for you to sit down and talk with one of our attorneys and find out what kind of ramifications this new legislation will have on your estate plan.

In meeting with you, we can discuss your beneficiary designations on your accounts and see if changes need to be made to them, or whether a trust needs to be created or restructured.  We can also discuss other strategies to ensure that your hard-earned dollars go to family members – not Uncle Sam.

If it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed your estate plan or if you don’t have one, now is the time to do so.  Every plan should be reviewed periodically.  If you’ve recently had a change in your family, such as a marriage, a divorce, or the birth of a child or grandchild, you should review your plan in light of those changes.  It’s also possible that the law may have changed since you originally created your estate plan.   We have a professional staff that can help you weigh decisions when it comes to making any necessary changes and guide you through the process.  You’ve spent your life working hard so that your family will be taken care of when you are gone – don’t risk losing what you’ve earned to the ever-changing law.