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What is a Stand-Alone Retirement Trust and is it Right for you?

A Stand-Alone Retirement Trust is a trust designed to receive tax deferred assets, also known as qualified funds, like IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc. Some financial advisors may tell you not to designate a trust as the beneficiary of your retirement accounts, but in cases where a Retirement trust is used this is not the right advice. First, you need to understand why an advisor advises against designating your trust as a beneficiary of your retirement, then it will be easier to determine whether a Retirement Trust could be an important for your estate plan. Why Shouldn’t I Designate my Trust as the Beneficiary of My 401(k)? An advisor may tell you not to designate your trust as a beneficiary o

5 Ways to Fight Murphy’s Law in your Estate Planning

There are lots of laws that make creating a well-designed estate plan difficult, but the most important law to remember when creating an estate plan is Murphy’s Law. Murphy’s Law states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Below I have mentioned five methods that if implemented properly can fight against Murphy’s Law so that your plan can be executed without too much trouble. Select the correct guardian: Even if you have a trust, if you have minor children you need to create a will. I would argue that you need a will even if you don’t have minor children, but if you have minor children it is particularly important to create a will. In California, a will is the document you use t

5 Ways to Gift Right

The saying goes “It is better to give than to receive.” I would take this saying a step further and say it is better to give right than give wrong. If you have reached a time in your life when you have acquired enough wealth, you (at least according to Scott Adams) naturally turn outward to look at the world around you to see how you can give back. Studies have shown that the only way that wealth can bring real happiness is not to spend it but give it away. In that mind set, I would like to present you with 5 ways that can gift right. 1. Make a foundation or give to a charity: This is usually what you think of when you think of gifting right. Gifts to a charity are tax deductible. If you do

Your Estate Plan: Keep it Current

There are a lot of people who update their resume much more often than they update their estate plan, but the truth is that much more can happen to your estate plan in the same amount of time. You update your resume so that you can communicate to potential employers your skills, experience, and qualifications in your professional realm. Just think for a second how out of date this resume would be if you didn’t update it for a couple of years or even a decade. Some studies have shown that the average estate plan administration can be 17 years after the last update of a trust. How much life can happen in 17 years? Your outdated estate plan, just like an outdated resume, will not work like it s

Calling all Doctors: Here are 4 Tips for Planning to Protect from Liability

There is a whole gamut of ways that you as a physician can be sued. Apart from medical malpractice suits, which are bad enough, there are other types of suits that can accompany owning a business. You can be sued for a litany of employment-related reasons, you can be sued by or because of business partners, because of contractual obligations, and you could also have premises liability if you own the building that you operate out of. So, first off, I want to apologize on behalf of lawyers everywhere. That aside, there are ways to use lawyers and legal strategies to your advantage. You can protect yourself from some of the lawsuits that might derail your practice. Here are just a few tips to g

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