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Estate Planning Checklist

As we get closer to the 4th quarter of 2017, it is a great time to start thinking about updating our estate plans. A carefully crafted estate plan can be one of the greatest gifts you can give to your loved ones.

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Choosing an IRA Beneficiary? Choose Wisely…

Your choice of beneficiary(s) for your IRA can have major tax consequences. Choose wisely with your advisor’s counsel. Leaving your IRA to an individual is a simple and flexible solution. Leaving your IRA to a trust is more complex and requires the advice of an experienced estate attorney.

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What Happens to My IRA When I Die?

Most people’s wills do not specify or control what happens to their IRAs. That’s because an IRA has its own distribution schedule that operates independently of a person’s will. IRAs have beneficiary designations that are created when the IRA is opened. These beneficiary designations should be reviewed on a regular basis and can be changed with written notice at any time prior to one’s death. Most people name their spouse as their primary beneficiary and then their children as contingent beneficiaries, with the children splitting their shares equally.

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Key Estate Planning Documents

Estate planning is a vital component of every financial plan, regardless of the size of the estate. Unfortunately, it’s also an area that is commonly overlooked. This often results in wasted dollars and emotional hardship that could otherwise be minimized with proper advance planning and action.

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Think Twice Before Reacting to Market News

Key Takeaways There WILL be a stock market correction at some point in the future. The right portfolio design will help prevent you from being too aggressive (or too cautious) in all market environments. The evidence is clear that corrections cannot be reliably predicted. The market constantly schemes to convince investors to change their portfolio […]

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Planning Your Financial Future One “Step” At a Time

Key Takeaways Stepping up the cost basis of your assets can be a good planning tool when determining what assets to sell in your lifetime. If possible, consider passing taxable assets with large unrealized gains to your heirs. Assets that receive no step up include those held in any retirement accounts or annuities An investor […]

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A Nerve-Rattling Snake Tale

I’ve written before about how gut instincts and rapid reflexes – behavioral factors – can do you in as an otherwise sensible investor. The other day, I was reminded that, in other walks of life, those instincts aren’t such a bad idea. Like if you encounter a real, live rattlesnake. I had been fishing with […]

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