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Re: Estate Planning Lawyer

...bsteiner is a NYC lawyer who posts here regularly. I don't believe he's a big fan of revocable trusts, however. Also, your fee estimate is very low in NYC and, in fact, is probably too low in most parts of the US. What makes you conclude you need a revocable trust? We'll do revocable trusts wher...
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning Lawyer
Replies: 8
Views: 1016

Re: Testamentary Trust as Beneficiary

"The trust" may work so long as you have only one child, but you may want to expand on this (to create a separate trust for each child) if there's a chance you might have another child. We usually wouldn't name beneficiaries of investment accounts (other than life insurance or retirement b...
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Testamentary Trust as Beneficiary
Replies: 3
Views: 286

Re: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?

...Thank you very much for the article, but the language was a bit heavy for me. If I understood this right, there is no benefit in passing the retirement assets to spouse in trusts, but children should acquire them in trust. In fact, spouse will have more options to do when retirement assets trans...
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?
Replies: 13
Views: 1076

Re: Estate Planning Issues

Her job is to decide what her goals are, not how best to accomplish them. The lawyer's job is to figure out how best to accomplish her goals. If she wants to provide for her sisters in a way that will protect them, she should provide for them in trust rather than outright, notwithstanding the "...
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Planning Issues
Replies: 10
Views: 583

Re: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?

I can't tell what the original poster did from the facts presented. The term "family trust" usually refers to a trust created for the benefit of one's spouse and issue (descendants). Absent some particular reason in a given case, most married people leave their retirement benefits to the s...
by bsteiner
Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement account beneficiary; family trust?
Replies: 13
Views: 1076

Re: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?

If you take the lump sum and roll it over into an IRA, you may be able to convert to a Roth, either all at once or over a number of years. If you can pay the tax on the conversion out of other assets, the Roth conversion will often add substantial value.
by bsteiner
Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Lump Sum vs Annuity: A New Question?
Replies: 62
Views: 3138

Re: Considerations For Executor

There are two different issues here. A responsible and honest person need not have any special skills to serve as executor. The executor can hire lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, and other advisors. In many states, such as New York, the executor's commission (compensation) is fixed by law....
by bsteiner
Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considerations For Executor
Replies: 10
Views: 1201

Re: Making a Will (Young Couple)

... I had an attorney friend review and offer advice to modify. We made some changes on his advice. You could also hire an attorney, making it clear you only want a review - should be very cheap as compared to hiring them for the full thing. I can look at a Will and spot the major issues in a few m...
by bsteiner
Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Making a Will (Young Couple)
Replies: 16
Views: 1257

Re: You have more than enough invested, now how to protect i

If you go to the free dinner seminar and you're the one who buys the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner, but you paid for the free dinners for everyone else in the room. Putting your home in an irrevocable trust won't save any taxes if ...
by bsteiner
Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You have more than enough invested, now how to protect it
Replies: 9
Views: 1232

Re: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?

HardKnocker wrote:... Local high school teacher with 30 years seniority = $70/hr


Plus the overhead of the school (the school building and grounds, the non-teacher employees, textbooks, supplies, buses, cafeteria, etc.)
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Our Accountant Over-Charging Us?
Replies: 30
Views: 3122

Re: Lump Sum vs annuity

Another factor to consider is that the lump sum allows for the possibility of a Roth conversion. That could add substantial value if (i) you can convert at a tax rate less than, equal to, or not too much higher than the tax rate that would otherwise apply to the distributions, and (ii) you can pay t...
by bsteiner
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lump Sum vs annuity
Replies: 17
Views: 1087

Re: Pay Off Mortgage

I personally probably wouldn't if I had no cash flow issues and my after tax interest rate was about 2.9% (only considering federal). I would just keep your allocation as it is and keep paying the mortgage. I wouldn't be willing give up the liquidity that you would be giving up by selling off 80%-8...
by bsteiner
Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay Off Mortgage
Replies: 56
Views: 3775

Re: Roth IRA

You could stretch it out over your life expectancy, and share the distributions with your siblings as you receive them, or even them up with other assets. You might want to ask any legal questions of the attorney handling the estate, or the attorney who handles your estate planning, rather than of t...
by bsteiner
Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 266

Re: Need help with time share offer

If you go to the free dinner seminar (or the free ski pass program), and you buy the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner (or your free ski pass), but you paid for the free dinners (or the free ski passes) for everyone else in the room.
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help with time share offer
Replies: 22
Views: 1526

Re: ILIT for term life insurance? [Irrevocable Life Ins. Tru

As the Federal exempt amount has increased, we've seen fewer insurance trusts. However, some younger clients have a very high income and may buy a relatively large amount of insurance. Someone who doesn't want to leave the excess above the state exempt amount (including the insurance proceeds) to th...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ILIT for term life insurance? [Irrevocable Life Ins. Trust]
Replies: 11
Views: 561

Re: 401k fee lawsuits

The New York Times article provides a link to the 8th Circuit's opinion in the case against ABB: http://media.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/14/03/122056P.pdf. The article also provides links to the Department of Labor's news releases in connection with the settlements in the Sunkist and National Rural Ele...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [New 8th Circuit Ruling Striking Down High 401K Fees]
Replies: 44
Views: 2446

Re: ILIT for term life insurance?

To the extent the insurance proceeds replace the income you would have earned, if your spouse survives, and you leave the insurance to your spouse or to a marital trust, unless your spouse dies soon after you die, your family will use the insurance proceeds, so they won't be included in your spouse'...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ILIT for term life insurance? [Irrevocable Life Ins. Trust]
Replies: 11
Views: 561

Re: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)

...Many years ago, my dad (he owned an insurance agency) bought me a $100k whole life policy. .... I have $16k of cash value. Yearly premium is $393. I'm 57 with medical history that I expect would make term life stupidly expensive. With my savings and retirement savings, my kids college would be c...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A whole life question (put the axes and torches away)
Replies: 40
Views: 2073

Re: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience t

The courts differ on whether you can prove timely mailing other than by the postmark, or by a record of mailing by registered or certified mail or certain private delivery services. The 8th, 9th and 10th Circuits are favorable to the taxpayer, while the 2nd and 6th Circuits are favorable to the gove...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS letter claiming return is late - anyone experience this?
Replies: 34
Views: 3430

Re: IRA Deductions for Estate Tax Return?

IRAs are income in respect of a decedent (IRD). Assume a 40% income tax rate and a 40% estate tax rate. If you received $100 of IRA benefits during your lifetime, you would pay $40 of income tax. The remaining $60 would be subject to estate tax. Your estate would pay $24 of estate tax, leaving $36 f...
by bsteiner
Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Deductions for Estate Tax Return?
Replies: 4
Views: 391

Re: Attempt at explaining the backdoor Roth to my new accoun

These comments underscore just how large and complex the tax code is. If you compare tax work with general legal work, you will note that most lawyers specialize in a rather narrow corridor of the legal field. Often CPAs and those that specialize in business tax preparation are not fully familiar w...
by bsteiner
Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Attempt at explaining the backdoor Roth to my new accountant
Replies: 26
Views: 2267

Re: Is there ever a reason to prefer taxable over tax advant

...Once you get $2-3 million in tax advantaged as a Single Person, you're in the 28% marginal bracket for income. So it's better to have taxable accts with 15% dividend taxation henceforth... Not at a constant tax rate and a tax rate greater than zero on qualified dividends and long-term capital ga...
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there ever a reason to prefer taxable over tax advantaged
Replies: 48
Views: 4522

Re: Trusts for minor/young adult children and IRAs

...If we put language into an irrevocable trust that: 1. Distributions can only be made to beneficiaries. 2. Before a certain age, trustee can distribute to beneficiaries (and NOT on beneficiaries behalf) for "education" or "medical" or.... Then it passes the test? 1. Maybe. Wha...
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for minor/young adult children and IRAs
Replies: 4
Views: 480

Re: Trusts for minor/young adult children and IRAs

...It seems as if we want to: a) Have RMD be minimized as much as possible -- basically over the lifetime of the oldest child. That seems to rule in ONLY a conduit trust. b) ensure that distributions remain in the trust, and only sent to our kids for things like tuition, medical, and living expense...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trusts for minor/young adult children and IRAs
Replies: 4
Views: 480

Re: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying

I bought a 2014.5 Toyota Camry (they added a rear view camera and called it 2014.5 to distinguish it from the original 2014) using PenFed's car buying service. The dealer honored the price. As of now, Toyota offers a choice of a $1,000 rebate or 0% interest for 5 years on that car, and PenFed offers...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying
Replies: 16
Views: 1777

Re: Anyone know of places to purchase canes

Rain or Shine, 45 East 45th Street, by Grand Central: http://www.rainorshine.biz/
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone know of places to purchase canes
Replies: 26
Views: 1256

Re: Tax Court strikes a blow to IRA Rollovers

...My wife cleaned out an IRA in November (not 2013). I convinced her to send half back within 60 days. Then she took it back out, but by then it was the next (tax) year. It was a (partial) rollover from one custodian to the exact same custodian.... You have to wait more than one year from the firs...
by bsteiner
Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Court strikes a blow to IRA Rollovers
Replies: 98
Views: 11441

Re: Confused about gifting, estate taxes, and trusts

The Federal estate tax exempt amount is $5,340,000, so it's unlikely that there will be any Federal estate tax under any circumstance. This changes the planning for smaller estates that would have paid Federal estate tax when the exempt amount was smaller The Massachusetts estate tax exempt amount i...
by bsteiner
Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confused about gifting, estate taxes, and trusts
Replies: 37
Views: 1878

Re: LLC vs Irrevocable Trust vs Dynasty Trust

Without knowing the facts of their situation and their objectives, it's hard to know how best to accomplish their objectives. If we knew the facts of their situation and their objectives, it would be easy to determine how best to accomplish their objectives. LLCs are entities like corporations and p...
by bsteiner
Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC vs Irrevocable Trust vs Dynasty Trust
Replies: 7
Views: 827

Re: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum

...It is amazing the number of free dinner seminars to which I get an invitation now that I am approaching early retirement age. If you go to the free dinner seminar, and you're the one who buys the annuity, the living trust, the timeshare, or the bridge, not only did you pay for your free dinner, ...
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum
Replies: 34
Views: 4232

Re: Online Wills

I don't know whether books or software or "document preparation" services are OK. I don't know what would happen if I wrote "I leave everything to my sweetie, or to my kids per stripes," on a watermelon rind, with a Sharpie, and had my cousin witness it. Might be a perfectly goo...
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Wills
Replies: 27
Views: 2411

Re: Using Life Expectancy Tables for RMD

Minimum Required Distribution means the same thing as Required Minimum Distribution. At least, I can't parse the difference. ... I agree that the term is redundant. The caption to Section 401(a)(9) says "required distributions." I think that's the best term for it. For many years, most pe...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using Life Expectancy Tables for RMD
Replies: 22
Views: 1419

Re: Help me run my company's pension plan

Like individuals saving for retirement, most defined benefit plans invest in a combination of equities (since they may do better over a long period of time) and fixed income (to diversify and reduce volatility). However some people have argued that defined benefit plans should invest entirely in fix...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me run my company's pension plan
Replies: 35
Views: 2141

Re: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?

I can't believe how bad some recent journalism has been on the Roth/Traditional question. ... Seriously, these types of articles do readers a huge disservice by never pointing out that a $5000 contribution to a Roth IRA or 401k represents a bigger savings sacrifice on an equivalent pre- or post-tax...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 20% More in Roth vs. TIRA, Even w/Uniform Tax Rate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1152

Re: Setting up a spendthrift trust for a child

...if Bruce Steiner enters this discussion, I suggest we defer to his advice, because some of the best information I've seen on this topic comes from him. ... It may help to provide some references to the attorney preparing your documents.... Thanks for the kind words, though if you have to provide...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Setting up a spendthrift trust for a child
Replies: 6
Views: 1198

Re: Roth IRA vs Traditional in total amount per year

When comparing Roth vs Traditional IRA I always see people compare them as if the person put the same $5,500 in every year and the only real debate is if it is better to pay tax now or later. Shouldn't people point out that in a Roth you can pay in post-tax dollars vs. pre-tax dollars when you put ...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Roth IRA vs Traditional in total amount per year
Replies: 19
Views: 1143

Re: Help me run my company's pension plan

It might be worth consulting with an actuary who mainly deals with privately held companies to see what type of qualified plan would be best given your objectives.
by bsteiner
Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me run my company's pension plan
Replies: 35
Views: 2141

Re: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists

Someone called yesterday (but I didn't catch the name of his firm) recommending that I buy some shares of a stock at 66¢ that he said was worth $1.25, and asked how many shares I would buy, and if I would buy 10,000 shares. He was unable to respond to my questions as to (i) who gave him my name, (ii...
by bsteiner
Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Edward Jones ignores do-not-call lists
Replies: 20
Views: 1549

Re: After Tax Investing vs. Pre Tax Investing

I don't know what future tax rates will be. If you're 26, it will be a very long time until your beneficiaries take their last required distribution. Tax rates will probably change many times. However, tax rates are likely to remain greater than zero. Suppose you put $5,500 into a Roth IRA. Over som...
by bsteiner
Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: After Tax Investing vs. Pre Tax Investing
Replies: 26
Views: 1136

Re: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club

englishgirl wrote:I've never come across pushy salespeople at Costco. ... Maybe BJ's is different, but I've never been in one.


BJs and Costco are similar.
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club
Replies: 53
Views: 4005

Re: Tax Tables in 1040 instructions - imprecise?

It goes all the way back to 1913 when the income tax was enacted. Here is the 1913 return: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f1040--1913.pdf. The return is three pages, and the instructions are on the reverse side of the second 2-sided sheet (the 4th page on the pdf). 1913! Amazing. Thanks Bruce! Fr...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Tables in 1040 instructions - imprecise?
Replies: 27
Views: 842

Re: Tax Tables in 1040 instructions - imprecise?

...The IRS lets one easily search for past forms/documents on this page here: http://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/priorFormPublication.html What I did was ask to find a document with "1040" in the "title", then clicked on revision date to sort them for oldest to newest. Voila,...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Tables in 1040 instructions - imprecise?
Replies: 27
Views: 842

Re: Gift Tax and the 529b

The 529 plan works well for moderately well to do people, but not for those who are concerned about estate taxes. That's because, instead of contributing to a 529 plan, a wealthy person can instead give his/her children and grandchildren $14,000 a year ($28,000 for a married couple with gift-splitti...
by bsteiner
Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gift Tax and the 529b
Replies: 16
Views: 839

PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying

Is there likely to be a difference in prices among these?
by bsteiner
Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PenFed v. Truecar v. BJs v. Costco auto buying
Replies: 16
Views: 1777

Re: Tax consequences of not retitling joint accounts

...Tax season is a hard time for a new client to get in to see a practicing tax attorney... Why is that? We're not seasonal like accountants. If anything, we're busier in December when people are doing year-end transactions. The joint accounts are already hers by operation of law, though the banks ...
by bsteiner
Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax consequences of not retitling joint accounts
Replies: 28
Views: 1494

Re: What kind of mortgage should I get?

There's a tax arbitrage if you put only 20% down. You can deduct the interest on the mortgage against your ordinary income. However, you can invest for qualified dividends, long-term capital gains and tax-exempt income. So even if you only earn a return equal to the interest rate on the mortgage, yo...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What kind of mortgage should I get?
Replies: 9
Views: 826

Re: PBS Program on Roth IRA - Ed Slott

If others have seen the Retirement Rescue presentation on PBS by Ed Slott, did you feel that the advantages of a Traditional IRA to Roth IRA Conversion were overstated to some degree? Many people would not have the extra assets required to pay the conversion taxes, so a $100K T-IRA is replaced with...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PBS Program on Roth IRA - Ed Slott
Replies: 11
Views: 2241

Re: CPA does Trust tax return - can I do the K-1s?

bsteiner, scratching my head as to why you disagree. Got (theoretical) quotes from an estate attorney in Kansas, and the difference was, to put it mildly, shocking. To go through probate, low six figures, for the whole estate.* Since all was in the Trust, the cost was in the low four figures. I've ...
by bsteiner
Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA does Trust tax return - can I do the K-1s?
Replies: 15
Views: 617

Re: CPA does Trust tax return - can I do the K-1s?

I suspect we can all agree trusts are a fine way to avoid probate expenses, but a major pain when it comes to tax filings.... I disagree as to both points. In addition, the two concepts are sufficiently different that it's better to consider them separately. Revocable trusts to "avoid probate ...
by bsteiner
Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA does Trust tax return - can I do the K-1s?
Replies: 15
Views: 617
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