A highly tax-effective way to plan for retirement
Keeping tax manageable when you retire is an important part of estate planning.
The last thing you want is for your hard-earned assets to dwindle through a lack of planning and paying unnecessary taxes.
Special trusts can help you navigate this.
We’ll help you:
- Set up a retirement account trust that protects your retirement income
- Shield assets from excessive taxes or claims
- Avoid potentially costly estate planning mistakes
Which type of retirement account trust is right?
A retirement account trust is an important estate planning tool that designates a trust as the beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plans.
It is especially effective if your combined (husband and wife) retirement income exceeds $150,000.
The main benefits of a retirement account trust include:
- Maximizing income tax deferral and wealth accumulation over your child’s lifetime and possibly over your grandchild’s lifetime
- Minimizing estate and generation-skipping taxes
- Guaranteeing that your assets reach your desired beneficiaries over generations
- Protection from creditors and divorce
A retirement account trust is different from a living trust.
There are two basic types:
- Conduit trust – where the trust is designated as the IRA beneficiary and the beneficiary of the trust is an individual named in the trust document. Upon the death of the IRA owner, the trust beneficiary receives payments (Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs) from the available funds.
- Accumulation trust – instead of Required Minimum Distributions being paid out, this trust keeps growing from the inherited IRA assets. Note that this may not be the most tax-effective way to set it up but it can help protect funds if the beneficiary is financially unreliable or is likely to face legal action (assets are protected from creditors).
What does it mean to “stretch out” RMDs?
Stretching out RMDs refers to the ability, under IRS rules, for beneficiaries of an IRA to compound their taxable Required Minimum Distributions over their own life expectancies.
This can help the trust grow significantly and tax-effectively.
So, beneficiaries can withdraw only the RMDs from their inheritance, while the account can grow year on year.
This may well leave a large lump sum remaining at the end of the beneficiary’s own life, which can then be passed on to their children and help fund the next generation.
Set your trust up correctly to avoid later problems
As a complex area of estate planning, it is important to receive the appropriate legal advice before attempting to set up a retirement account trust.
The income tax stretch out of RMDs is not an automatic process. It requires an experienced hand to plan for this and set the trust up correctly.
Besides, your family may not be aware of the tax regulations, which can end up costing them dearly.
For instance, they may:
- Risk losing out by withdrawing the entire amount from the trust
- Attract needless estate taxes or generation-skipping taxes (40 percent)
- Waste funds through inadvisable spending or investing
- Be influenced by poor advice or an unscrupulous third party
- Waste funds through a divorce if the trust is not correctly planned
It is important to go through an educational process with the beneficiaries you nominate with a retirement account trust.
In fact, this advice applies to any and all trusts that you set up.
We can also help you arrange:
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Just a few minutes into our first meeting we had a high level of confidence that we had landed in the right place and knew we were in good hands. The entire experience – from the first meeting through the delivery of the final documents – was not only painless, but it was also pleasant!
We had known for many years that we needed an estate plan but just never got around to doing it. We immediately felt like they “got” our unique family situation and knew just what to do. We wish we had done this sooner but what a great feeling it is to know that what we worked so hard for all these years will be protected and go to the right people when it’s our time.
We felt like they really listened to us as we talked about our family and business and what we wanted to accomplish. They took the time to help us understand how living trusts and LLC’s work and how they can help protect our family and property. The fixed fee approach was very appealing to us. We were excited when we received our estate planning and LLC notebooks!
For years my husband and I thought about creating a living trust but had assumed the process would be confusing, expensive and time-consuming. We could not have been more wrong. We attended two online Zoom meetings where they explained what a trust is, why it’s important to create one and how to go about doing so. They were able to gather the information needed to create our trust from just these two online meetings plus the final in-person meeting to sign documents.
Kent is an exemplary advocate for his clients. It is an honor to have worked with him and witness his high ethical standards.
We put together a complete estate plan in just three one-hour meetings. The meetings were well organized and planned by the attorney. The concepts and legal terms were all well explained by giving real-world examples. The staff is easy to work with. They went out of their way to make it an enjoyable experience.