If you have not named a beneficiary on life insurance or a retirement account it will likely guarantee that the asset will go through probate upon your death. Unfortunately, heirs might face a long wait to receive their money.
Designate Contingent Beneficiaries
It is recommended that you name a contingent beneficiary. Most likely you designated a primary beneficiary when the account was opened and most people designate their significant other, but they do not take into account that person might predecease them. If that happens, your contingent beneficiary will receive the assets.
Review Beneficiary Designations
You should review your policy or account every few years to
ensure that your beneficiaries remain consistent with your overall estate planning goals.
¨ Consider a trust if Beneficiary is a Minor
A trust to benefit a minor grandchild can hold assets until the child has reached a designated age.
How do the changes to the tax code affect the benefits of charitable giving?
The new tax law is a hot topic of conversation everywhere. And the experts are still analyzing and devel-oping materials that explain its impact on taxpayers and chari-ties.
The Tax Law of 2018 preserves the deduction for charitable con-tributions, however it shrinks other itemized deductions and in-creases the standard deduction. Therefore, it is expected that more taxpayers will take the standard deduction rather than itemize their deductions.
However, the reason for giving to a charity, for most people, is not driven by tax benefits, but rather by a belief in the mission of their favorite charities. The upside is that tax savings will leave many taxpayers with more money that they can direct as they choose.
You may be wondering, how the new tax law will affect you and whether you should change the way you support causes dear to your heart.
How will I be affected by the new tax law?
For those who are already taking the standard deduction, the increased standard deduction reduces your tax bill, putting more money in your pocket.
If you itemize your deductions and give small to moderate amounts to charity, you may notice that the increased standard deduction will lower your tax bill more than itemizing would.
Those who have larger annual itemized deductions are less likely to be affected because donations along with other deductions will tend to be greater than the standard deduction. If you itemize deductions, you will most likely get a full tax benefit of your charitable contributions.
The new tax law keeps the charitable deduction and, increases the limit on cash contributions from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income which will help some taxpayers who make larger gifts to charity.
Should I change the way I give to my favorite charities?
Most people donate because they are passionate about a cause. Not to get a tax deduction. Giving to charity is always a worthy goal, so don’t let changes in the tax code affect your giving plans. If you do decide to make changes, always talk with your financial planner or a tax advisor to determine what makes the most sense for your personal situation.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not offered and should not be taken as legal, tax, of other professional advice. Always consult an attorney, financial planner or tax advisor.
PORTLAND, OR -- The Willamette View Foundation board of directors has voted to give a $1 million grant to support the Riverview Project. It is the largest grant the Foundation has ever awarded. The Foundation is generally focused on helping individual residents with their finances. However, there is an unrestricted reserve fund that allows the Foundation to make these grants on special occasions.
The Riverview Project includes an expanded kitchen, an auditorium with more seating capacity and a veranda with a river view. “We are excited to be able to participate in helping residents with this project,” said Foundation President Christie Geiger. We think this project will benefit all residents and enhance the core social venue of the community.
Executive Director Diane Wernli said, “We are all interwoven in the Willamette View community and it’s important for us to support the residents and this project.”
Since its inception in 1967, the Foundation’s mission has been to help residents maintain their financial security and has done so by managing their bills and by helping them directly with financial assistance if they exhaust their funds. Along the way, unrestricted funds have also provided grants for projects on the Willamette View retirement community’s campus.
The Foundation is funded entirely through the generosity of donors – most of whom are past or present residents or the families of residents.
questions about the foundation or this grant you are encouraged to call 971-233-8958.
Spring is here! It’s when you feel like cleaning out your closet and reorganizing your room every year, but so often people neglect the type of spring cleaning that they should focus on most; their finances! Cleaning up and organizing your finances and all the paperwork is a good way to stay on top of your financial progress.
Know Where You Stand
From rate changes to market fluctuations, there are many different factors that can affect your money. Don’t be caught off guard, explore and evaluate your resources and options. Knowing where you stand financially is the key to keeping your finances in good order.
Set Realistic Goals
Attempt to set realistic goals to achieve your financial success. Stretch your dollars and use money wisely. Know where your money is going and attempt to make goals oriented around things that you really want to do now.
Build an Emergency Reserve
Are you prepared for an unexpected expense?
There are numerous ways to boost your emergency fund. Some are as simple as being aware of your future care needs and trying to curb unnecessary spending. Another idea is to do away with those memberships and subscriptions that are no longer important to you.
Get Rid of Clutter
Spring is a good time to do some financial cleaning and purging—out with the old and in with the new! Keep in mind, for most people, you don’t need to keep old tax returns any more than 7 years. Shredding old documents is the best way to purge old paperwork with personal information on it.
Monitor Your Spending
Make sure your dollars are going toward things that bring you the most satisfaction and benefit. Set your priorities and focus your spending on things that matter to you most, that way you will have resources available to do the things that add value to your days and fulfillment to your life.
Always be aware of scammers but be especially aware during tax season. The most common scams come in the form of emails and phone calls, they will often use the IRS name, logo and fake websites to obtain information and sometimes money from unsuspecting citizens. The IRS will never demand payment over the phone, threaten legal action, or threaten to contact the police.
If you receive an email that you believe is a scam – forward it to: firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete it. Don’t reply to the email or open any of the attachments.
IRS Taxes. Security. Together. Tax Tip Number 6, December 8, 2016
If you get a call from the “IRS” threatening you with lawsuits or jail unless you pay up immediately … Guess what? It’s a scam.
IRS impersonation and tax scams by phone, email, postal mail and text are ongoing. Criminals use more and more creative ploys to trick taxpayers and tax preparers. Don’t be a victim.
The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry are asking for your help in the effort to combat identity theft and fraudulent returns. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference. Continue reading →
In our latest newsletter we made reference to the following article from the Huffington Post. It is some good food for thought going into this season of Thanksgiving that we thought you might enjoy. What a difference this world would be if we expressed our gratitude constantly instead of our disappointments…
I was recently at a celebration for a colleague who retired after being a financial advisor for over 30 years. We were surrounded by a room full of her peers and they were reminiscing about the many years they had all worked together, of times when interest rates hovered in or close to double digits. For years now many have felt the effect of near non-existing interest rates on CD’s and Money Market funds. Here we are in an election year, with many casual conversations about the economy often including a mention of the Fed and interest rates. Just in case you find yourself in one of these conversations, I wanted to share this link to Angeles Investment Advisors blog, a post written by Michael Rosen which discusses just that topic.
Tax-related identify theft involves someone using a stolen Social Security number to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. This is a small but growing occurrence, and if it happens to you, it can have a major impact on your financial life and delay payment of a tax refund on which you may have been depending. Continue reading →
Words of advice from Michael Rosen, Angeles Investment Advisors. When it comes to investing, even when we can look at probabilities, which come with large standard errors, and consider all the many variables that affect investments, there is still no formula for investing with 100% confidence. Should you follow your instincts? What is the best shape for an investment strategy?