Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®
Here are three quick tips you might find helpful:
Choose your beneficiaries wisely when allocating inheritance money. Leave tax-deferred accounts (IRAs and non-qualified annuities, for example) to younger family members. They’re likely in a lower tax bracket and have longer life expectancies for taking the required minimum distributions, which means the distributions will be smaller, as well. Highly appreciated assets are best left to beneficiaries in higher tax brackets as long as the cost-basis can be stepped up to the current price levels. This means wealthier recipients can sell the asset with little or no tax consequences. The high-income beneficiaries would most benefit from the tax-free benefits from life insurance policies. Talk with your advisors.
Don’t be too eager to drop older life insurance policies. Some may wonder why keep the policy if they no longer need it. Those older policies may be paying an attractive interest rate, which is accumulating tax-deferred. Secondly, those small premiums may well be worth the much larger tax-free payoff down the road. How to tell? Start by dividing the premium into the death benefit. Got the answer? If you think you’ll pass away before that number (in years), you probably should keep paying.
Convert Grandpa’s IRA to a Roth IRA. When grandpa passes away, his IRA assets will likely be passed down to children and grandchildren, which means they’ll have to begin taking taxable required minimum distributions (RMDs) – which means they’ll probably be taxed at a higher rate than grandpa would have paid on his own withdrawals. If grandpa converted some or all of his traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs while alive, this problem wouldn’t happen. Smart kids might want to encourage this and even offer to pay the tax bill on the conversion now!
Hope you find this helpful!
Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and an ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY® serving private clients since 1991. Jim is Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a registered investment advisor with clients located across the U.S.. He is also licensed for insurance as an independent agent under California license 0C00742. The Independent Financial Group does not provide legal or tax advice and nothing contained herein should be construed as securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader. The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.