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Note From The Editor: June 2018

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

When the issue of retirement hits the news, it’s often because someone in the entertainment world has announced his retirement from the biz. Such was the case when actor Daniel Day Lewis announced he was giving up acting. But, what doesn’t get a lot of press coverage is the planning that was involved to make the retirement possible. 

Our Retirement Benefits Committee Report should be required reading for Daniel’s advisors, as it provides some critical information. For example, given the reduced tax rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act), it may be a good time for Daniel to convert his individual retirement account (assuming he has one) to a Roth IRA. In “Tax Reform Opens a Window for Roth Conversions,” p. 43, Bruce D. Steiner explains how the Act may tip the scales in favor of converting substantial amounts now. Daniel is married, but given the high divorce rate, especially in Hollywood, his advisors may want to take a look at “Dividing IRAs in Divorce,” p. 45, by Michelle L. Ward, to help avoid adverse tax consequences. Additionally, as Daniel gets a little older and decides he wants to engage in some philanthropy, a review of “A Wake-up Call to Senior Clients,” p. 40, by Christopher R. Hoyt may be in order.  Finally, if he decides to name a trust as the beneficiary of his IRA, “Cleaning Up After Formula 409,” p. 49, by Michael J. Jones and Robert K. Kirkland, will teach his advisors about the Uniform Principal and Income Act and how it can affect retirement benefits.   

And, my personal advice to Daniel: Don’t retire just yet. We need good actors like you to entertain us when we’re not reading Trusts & Estates.     

Finally, I’d like to welcome two new members to our editorial advisory board. Pamela Lucina, executive director of BNY Mellon Wealth Management Advice Planning and Fiduciary Services, will join the Fiduciary Professions Committee. Sherri Cohen, director at Bonhams in the Trusts & Estates Department will join the Art, Auctions & Antiques Committee.

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