Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits

Life and Death Planning for Retirement BenefitsNatalie Choate’s classic book Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, now in its seventh edition (2011), has been an indispensable reference for estate planners since 1996.

SEPTEMBER 2016: Download FREE important update to the book HERE!

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What’s New in the 7th Edition?

New or expanded coverage of these subjects:

Everything Roth: Roth conversions, 8 ways to contribute to a Roth IRA, Roth distributions, Roth rollovers, Roth abuses, and how the early-distributions penalty affects Roth plans. See Chapter 5.

Rollovers and plan-to-plan transfers: What’s the difference, what are the requirements for (and effects of) each, and which should you use when. See ¶ 2.6 (pp. 179–197).

After-tax money in plans and IRAs: How it gets in to a plan or IRA and how to get it OUT of the plan or IRA tax-free via a distribution or Roth conversion. See pp. 138–159.

Post-death planning and compliance: Chapter 4 now includes NEW material on the executor’s role (¶ 4.1), titling the inherited IRA (¶ 4.2.01), post-death rollovers and transfers (¶ 4.2), federal estate tax treatment of retirement benefits (¶ 4.3), double deaths (¶ 4.4.12), and cleanup strategies (¶ 4.5).

What’s still here (brought up to date):

Minimum distribution rules in depth; summaries followed by detailed discussion (with authorities cited) and examples; everything from the basics to the tough questions and the still-unknown.

Trusts as beneficiaries of retirement benefits in depth, including trust accounting for retirement benefits, the “minimum distribution trust rules,” fiduciary income tax treatment of retirement benefits, and discussion (with examples) of planning options to benefit the surviving spouse, minors, and a disabled beneficiary. Chapter 6.

And more: Income tax treatment of distributions including LSD and NUA (Chapter 2), spousal rights, special spousal rules, and marital deduction issues (Chapter 3), qualified disclaimers (¶ 4.4), income in respect of a decedent (¶ 4.6), charitable giving with retirement benefits (Chapter 7), investors’ issues (fees, losses, “self-directed” IRAs, prohibited transactions, UBTI) and types of plans (Chapter 8), 10% penalty on pre-age-59½ distributions (Chapter 9).

…And now it’s easier than ever to find what you need:

Road Maps get you right where you need to go to compute a client’s lifetime MRDs (p. 45), compute post-death MRDs to beneficiaries (p. 60), advise a surviving spouse (pp. 89, 204), executor (p. 243), or nonspouse beneficiary (p. 314), do estate planning for a married participant (pp. 87, 203, 224), and guide retirees on their distribution choices (p. 198).

Checklists assist in drafting a beneficiary designation form (p. 574) or trust to be named as beneficiary of a retirement plan (p. 394), and in using disclaimers (pp. 277, 296).

A See-through Trust Tester Quiz (p. 477) enables you to determine whether a particular trust qualifies as a “see-through trust” under the IRS’s minimum distribution trust rules.

What got cut:

Even though the new edition is 48 pages longer than the old, there wasn’t room for all the new without trimming some of the old, so two subjects that nobody ever asked me about in 4 years (life insurance in a retirement plan, minimum distribution rules for annuities in IRAs) were moved to a separate Special Report: When Insurance Products Meet Retirement Plans.

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