Posts Tagged ‘california estate planning attorney’
Monday, July 30th, 2012
As an estate planning lawyer in Orange County, I am often asked to help people who inherit a retirement account. The action you need to take with an inherited IRA depends upon your unique situation; the IRS has rules for each and recently announced that they will be cracking down on taxpayers who make mistakes with inherited IRAs. Here are some inherited IRA scenarios and options for each:
If the account you inherit was a 401(k) or traditional IRA and the decedent was at least 70 ½ years old: Contact the financial institution that holds the account to determine if the decedent had already taken the required minimum distribution for the year they died. If they did not, you will need to do so.
If you are the spouse of the deceased account owner: You can roll an inherited IRA into your own IRA to postpone taking distributions until you turn 70 ½. If you take distributions before you turn 59 ½, you may be subject to early withdrawal penalties. You can also leave it where it is and postpone taking the required minimum distribution until your deceased spouse would have turned 70 ½.
If you are not the spouse: You must first re-title the account to name you as the beneficiary. You will then be required to start taking required minimum distributions, which can be stretched out over your lifetime, beginning by Dec. 31 of the year following the death of the account owner.
If there are secondary beneficiaries: You have the option of disclaiming the inherited account, which will allow it to pass directly to the secondary beneficiaries. This is usually done to avoid creditors or to minimize income or estate taxes.
If there are multiple beneficiaries: You are allowed to split the account into separate IRAs for each beneficiary.
These are only general guidelines; it’s important that you consult a professional for specific information about what to do in your individual situation. If you’d like to learn more about how to treat inherited IRAs or have other estate planning questions, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
From the Desk of Darlynn Morgan, Trusts Lawyer California
I wanted to post a quick update today to remind those of you who’ve met with a trusts lawyer California and created a trust to take an inventory this week and make sure your assets are truly TITLED in the name of the trust you created!
Why am I telling you this? Wouldn’t this have been handled by the trusts lawyer California you met with to set it all up?
Well, yes and no.
Most estate planning law firms in CA simply create the trust and leave the funding aspect up to the client (which is essentially the process of transferring assets in the name of the trust).
So if you did not realize this was your responsibility or you overlooked an asset in your attempt to do this alone, your family may still wind up in probate court—despite the money you shelled out for planning.
On the other hand, you may have hired a trusts lawyer California who initially funded your trust, but you as the client failed to stay in touch with your lawyer to update it as your life or the law changed through the years.
And unfortunately, in both situations your family will be left with useless estate planning documents and an appointment with the CA probate court should something happen to you.
So what can you do to avoid this?
Here are my 2 best suggestions:
- If you already have a trust, take time this week to ensure all of your assets are properly owned by that trust. Pull up every account you have on file and roll up your sleeves. You have a lot of work to do!
- If you don’t want to do it yourself (or you’ve yet to get started with the process), find a lawyer who insists on a lifetime relationship, as opposed to a one-time transaction. This helps to ensure your estate planning stays current through the years and will not fail when your family needs it the most.
And of course, if you are a person seeking a lifetime relationship with a California estate planning attorney, be sure to check out our law firm as part of your search. From set up to funding, we work hard to ensure our clients get the help they need – without receiving a hefty bill for every email, phone call or fax during the process.
But don’t just take our word for it. Call 949-260-1400 to schedule your Family Wealth Planning Session today. These sessions are normally $750, but as a reader of our blog, you can receive yours absolutely free (limited to 10 per month). So don’t wait, give us a call and let us help you protect your family…no matter what!
Southern California Probate Attorney / Estate Planning Lawyer / Wills & Living Trusts Law Firm
Serving: Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego & all of Southern California
The estate planning law firm of Morgan Law Group, apc serves all cities in Orange County, including: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Balboa Island, Brea, Buena Park, Capistrano Beach, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Coto de Caza, Cypress, Dana Point, as well as estate planning in Foothill Ravnch, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, and estate planning and probate in Los Angeles, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and estate planning and probate law firm information in Orange, OC, Placentia, Rancho San Margarita, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.