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Note From the Editor: April 2020

Editor in Chief Susan R. Lipp discusses this month's issue.

Like everyone else at the moment, estate planners are likely stressed out dealing with the spread of the coronavirus and the plummeting stock market. And, although many clients are concerned about the decimation of their retirement accounts, the recently enacted Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act is still important. The changes it made to rules on individual retirement accounts will impact our clients.  

Although unfortunately, there’s little we can do about the stock market and the virus (aside from reminding you to wash your hands frequently and stay away from crowds), we can be of help when it comes to understanding the SECURE Act. Our retirement benefits experts are on the case, and they’ve created a special section this month focused on various aspects of the SECURE Act. Christopher R. Hoyt starts things off with two articles: one providing an overview of all the changes and the other warning about a trap to avoid regarding contributions to an IRA after age 701/2. Natalie B. Choate advises estate-planning attorneys of several trust drafting problems and how to avoid them. Bruce D. Steiner, Charles Bender, Alan S. Gassman and John N. Beck (in three separate articles) discuss other strategies to use as a substitute for the stretch IRA, while Nancy H. Welber explores the new law’s provisions relating to disabled and chronically ill beneficiaries. 

This month’s issue also includes our Insurance Committee Report with articles analyzing whether a client should keep, sell or surrender a life insurance policy when coverage may no longer be needed; life settlements (if the client decides to sell the policy); the uses of insurance other than for estate planning; and income taxation of life insurance. 

Finally, a warm welcome to Sandra D. Glazier of Lipson Neilson P.C. to our editorial advisory board.

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