Details Matter When Completing A Beneficiary Designation!

A recent federal case, originating in Florida, illustrates the importance of compliance with the EXACT requirements to designate a beneficiary for a 401(k) and ESOP plan. In Arlene Ruiz V. Publix Super Markets, Inc., a federal district court determined that an intent to change a beneficiary is NOT enough to…

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State Statute Throws Beneficiary a Lifeline!

Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201706004 addresses a beneficiary designation issue. Taxpayer died owning an individual retirement account (“IRA”). The beneficiary designation indicated that taxpayer’s trust was the beneficiary. The only problem? There was NO trust created by taxpayer! The custodian of the IRA found no trust, the taxpayer’s will referenced…

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Surviving Spouse? Don’t Make an IRA Rollover Mistake!

Professionals often advise individuals to name their spouse as a beneficiary of an IRA. Instead of immediately reporting the distributions from the deceased spouse’s IRA as taxable income,  the surviving spouse can rollover the amount into their own IRA. They can then defer distributions (and thus income) until they reach…

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Changes Brewing For IRA Required Minimum Distributions…

The Senate Committee on Finance recently scheduled a committee markup on September 21, 2016 of an original bill, the “Retirement Enhancement And Savings Act of 2016″ (the “Act”). The actual document was prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation and includes a number of changes to the required minimum distribution…

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IRS Offers Relief From Missed Rollovers…

Except for certain distributions from a Roth plan, all retirement plan distributions are generally taxable. However, the Internal Revenue Code (the”Code”) provides that, if certain distributions from a retirement plan, such as an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”), are “rolled over” to another or the same IRA within 60 days of…

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Fixing a Bad Beneficiary Designation After Death…Not So Fast!

  After a decedent’s death, a personal representative or trustee often discovers that a decedent’s individual retirement account (“IRA”) beneficiary designation is wrong, incomplete or missing. Many people think that, by fixing this beneficiary designation via court order, such a court order will bind the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) as…

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What’s Mine Is Yours… Or Maybe Not!

Even though Florida is not a community property state, Florida does have a statute that addresses community property for residents of  Florida who have moved here from a community property state. Community property can be very advantageous for tax and marital reasons. While I am NOT a community property expert, as I…

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New Fiduciary Rule for Financial Professionals

Under prior law,  most financial professionals were NOT considered a fiduciary under Section 4975 (c)(1)(E) and (F) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) , which provides that a fiduciary can NOT handle income or assets of a plan or IRAs in the fiduciaries’ own interest or receive compensation without…

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New Fiduciary Rule for Financial Professionals

  Under prior law,  most financial professionals were NOT considered a fiduciary under Section 4975 (c)(1)(E) and (F) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) , which provides that a fiduciary can NOT handle income or assets of a plan or IRAs in the fiduciaries’ own interest or receive compensation…

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