Home » General Interest » The Effect of the 2010 Tax Act on Estate Planning With Retirement Plan Benefits By Russell E. Utter Jr.

The Effect of the 2010 Tax Act on Estate Planning With Retirement Plan Benefits By Russell E. Utter Jr.

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Estate planning attorneys have to take many factors into consideration when determining the best way to prepare a client’s estate plan. Many of the considerations are practical ones, such as who should act as a trustee under a trust or as an attorney-in-fact under a Durable Power of Attorney. Some are based upon the varying state laws, such as the amount of assets a surviving spouse is entitled to under an elective share, while others are based on tax implications, such as whether it is more beneficial economically to transfer property to children during lifetime or at death. Oftentimes, the most difficult issues for attorneys are the ones that concern taxation due to the complicated, ever-changing, and unpredictable nature of the tax code.1

At issue in this article are the planning considerations and tax implications that exist when retirement plan benefits make up part of a client’s assets. This article examines the 2010 Tax Act and how it has affected or is likely to affect estate planning decisions when a majority of a client’s assets consist of retirement plan benefits. Section II of this article will look at the transfer tax law prior to the enactment of the 2010 Tax … Read the full text …

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