Retirement benefits are an integral part of any estate plan. Depending on how these benefits are distributed to heirs, there are many strategies we can use to help our clients maximize their income and estate tax savings. Our Committee Report this month reviews certain key aspects of this process. In “Structuring a Charitable Bequest of IRD Assets,” p. 47, Christopher R. Hoyt shows how to prevent an estate or trust from recognizing income in respect of a decedent (IRD) or to obtain an offsetting charitable income tax deduction when it has IRD. Michelle L. Ward, in “Transferring IRAs Out of Estates and Trusts,” p. 37, explains how to distribute benefits in the most tax-efficient manner when transferring individual retirement accounts out of estates and trusts. And, we learn about how to handle IRA rollovers when a spouse isn’t named as the IRA beneficiary by reading “IRA Rollovers,” p. 41, by Bruce D. Steiner.
For those of you called on to help your clients with collecting Social Security benefits during their retirement years, we have a three-part webinar archived on our website, under the Resources tab, that helps to clarify some of the complicated issues on this topic. All three are presented by William Rainaldi, president of The Kugler Company, LLC, and sponsored by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They are: (1) “Understanding the Basics of Social Security: The Things You Need to Know”; (2) “Finding the Money: Understanding Social Security Spousal Benefits”; and (3) “Special Family Situations—Divorced and Surviving Spouses: Explaining What Very Few People Realize.” We know you’ll find them useful.
It’s said that laughter is the best medicine. So, for your well-being, as well as ours, we decided to introduce a new column this month, called “The Lighter Side,” p. 54, by Robert T. Napier. We can count on Robert to find the humor involved in estate planning.