RMDs now required for death beneficiaries

If you inherited an IRA after January 1, 2020, you might be in for a surprise. Under proposed rules issued in February 2022, you might have to start withdrawing that money now. The shift comes as a shock for many. When the Secure Act passed in 2019, it required most death beneficiaries to fully withdraw retirement plan assets within a 10-year window. The expected interpretation was that someone could let that money grow for nine years and then withdraw the total sum in year 10. But it seems the IRS has interpreted that differently. Its proposed regulations create required minimum…..

Continue Reading

House passes Secure Act 2.0

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill designed to improve retirement savings. The Securing Strong Retirement Act of 2022, also called Secure Act 2.0, was approved with a bipartisan vote of 414-5. Next, the legislation heads to the Senate. However lawmakers there have a retirement reform package of their own. Analysts say there’s about a one-third overlap between the House and Senate bills. Both seek to raise the age for required minimum distributions, increase catch-up contributions, and assist employees in saving while paying student loans. The House bill builds on the first Secure Act, which was passed in 2019……

Continue Reading

Appealing a switch to ‘hospital observation status’

A federal court has ruled that hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who were switched from inpatient to observation status can appeal the decision, making it easier for them to receive coverage for subsequent nursing home care. The ruling appears to bring to an end more than a decade of litigation on behalf of Medicare recipients. Medicare covers nursing home stays entirely for the first 20 days, but only if the patient was first admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days. In part due to pressure from Medicare officials to reduce costly inpatient stays, hospitals often do not…..

Continue Reading

You may be overestimating your Social Security benefits

A pair of studies have found that workers overestimate how much they will receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. Researchers from the University of Michigan found that half of the workers surveyed did not know their benefit amount. The average overestimation of the benefit was $307 a month, more than one-quarter of the average forecasted benefit. However, the study found that as workers got older, they were more likely to understand their benefits and less likely to overestimate benefit amounts. Nationwide Retirement Institute’s annual Social Security survey also found that future retirees over age 50 expect to receive…..

Continue Reading

What it means to need ‘nursing home level of care’

When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level of care typically provided in a nursing home. Whether you are applying for nursing home coverage or through a Medicaid waiver program for coverage at home, you must meet the level-of-care requirement set by the state. Each state has its own criteria for determining if you meet the mandated standard. The state looks at an applicant’s functional, medical, and cognitive abilities to determine if care in a nursing home is called for. In general, you must…..

Continue Reading

Passing assets through a generation-skipping trust

Passing assets to your grandchildren can be a great way to ensure their future is provided for, and a generation-skipping trust can help you accomplish this goal while reducing estate taxes and also providing for your children. A generation-skipping trust allows you to “skip” over the generation directly below you and pass your assets to the succeeding generation. While this type of trust is most commonly used for family members, you can designate anyone who is at least 37.5 years younger than you as the beneficiary (except a spouse or ex-spouse). One purpose of a generation-skipping trust is to minimize…..

Continue Reading

What you can’t do with a will

While a will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, there are things that it won’t cover. It’s just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. A will is a legally-binding statement directing who will receive your property at your death. It is also the way that you appoint a legal representative to carry out your bequests and name a guardian for your children. Without a will, your estate is distributed according to state law, rather than your wishes. Property distributed via a will goes through probate, which is the formal process through which a court…..

Continue Reading

Washington first state with public long-term care

Earlier this year, Washington State’s Long Term Care Trust Act went into effect, creating the nation’s first publicly funded long term care benefit. Washington lawmakers developed the LTC Trust Act in order to protect their state budget from the exorbitant costs of Medicaid-covered long-term care. The trust will be funded by a mandatory 0.58% payroll tax on all W2 wage earners. The Washington trust has a lifetime benefit maximum (annually adjusted) designed to cover approximately one year of long-term care. Washington residents who had previously purchased LTC insurance had the option to opt out. However, short notice of the deadline…..

Continue Reading

How to protect your child’s inheritance from their spouse

One concern we hear in the estate planning process is how to protect an adult child’s inheritance from their spouse. Sometimes this stems from a place of animosity or concern over a child’s problem partner. Some people are concerned about divorce-proofing the assets they’ll leave behind for their kids. Still others simply believe that inheritances are best kept in the “family.” Naming your child alone as inheritor. The most basic option you have is to leave your inheritance to just one spouse. Even if your child lives in a community property state, an inheritance would be considered individual property. However,…..

Continue Reading

Making it easier for loved ones to settle your estate

For many people, estate planning is about more than transferring assets after you’re gone. It can be about making life easier on your survivors and smoothing the way for your loved ones at what is sure to be a difficult time. If that’s one of the “gifts” you’d like to leave behind, consider taking the following steps. Work with an attorney: Consult an attorney who will help you prepare a correctly executed will and/or living trust. Depending on your situation, some people choose a living trust as a beneficial way for their heirs to avoid the probate process. With a…..

Continue Reading

Office Hours

Mon. - Fri.: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

The Spectrum Building
613 N.W. Loop 410, Suite 840
San Antonio, Texas 78216-5507

Phone: (210) 742-1410
Fax: (210) 742-1414

9.3Gilbert Vara Jr.
powered by Birdeye