Wealth Counselor

Time to Review Clients’ Retirement Accounts

Posted by Robert L. Arone The COVID-19 pandemic has led to volatile markets, resulting in retirement accounts with much smaller balances than only a few short months ago. In response to the economic fallout stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was primarily aimed at providing quick and substantial relief to individuals and businesses affected by the economic shutdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. Several relief measures have a significant impact on clients’ ability to benefit from their retirement accounts. You can provide significant peace of mind to your clients by keeping them informed about how they can use their retirement funds now without penalties if necessary, as well as benefit from other tax relief provided by the new legislation. The CARES Act creates new distribution options

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Helping Clients Create Positivity with Their Estate Plan

Posted by Robert L. Arone Many scientific studies have established that there is a wide range of benefits flowing from a positive attitude and positive thinking. At a time when many are focused on worst-case scenarios and gloomy predictions, help your clients resist the pull of negativity and embrace the beneficial results of positivity. This is not just an attempt to make them (or ourselves) feel better in spite of reality, but rather to take full advantage of the proven benefits of optimism. We can develop stronger relationships with our clients by helping them to incorporate positivity into their estate planning: They can increase not only their own wellbeing but also that of their children or other beneficiaries by creating an estate plan designed to promote their loved ones’ happiness, which in turn, will enable them to live healthier and more successful lives. Fortunately for those to whom it does

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Family Offices: Clients Want Their Own Wealth Team

Posted by Robert L. Arone Since 2017, the number of single family offices has grown substantially, with 3100 offices in North America. As the economy has surged, the number of families with millions in assets to invest has increased correspondingly. As a trusted advisor, you play an important role in managing the wealth of these families—and managing the risks associated with the recent downturn triggered by the coronavirus. But even families who are less wealthy can benefit from a team approach to the management of their estate and financial planning. What is a family office? A family office typically provides a variety of services to a very wealthy family, including but not limited to the following: Investment management Cash management Risk management Financial planning Estate planning Tax planning Planning for charitable giving Multi-generational planning Single family offices are typically used by one ultra-high net worth family having $100 million or more

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Helping Single Parents Protect Who They Love Most

Posted by Robert L. Arone In 2019, there were over eleven million single parents with minor children in the United States.[1] It’s likely that some of those single parents are among your clients. For single parents, making sure their children are provided for is probably the top financial and estate planning concern. They worry about whether there will be sufficient funds for the care of their children if something should happen to them. Purchasing a life insurance policy is a great option for many single parents, as they are likely the primary or sole source of support for their children. Their first instinct may be to name their children as the beneficiaries of their life insurance policies, but there are several considerations they should keep in mind, particularly if their children are minors. As their trusted advisor, you can help them think through their options, as well as help them determine

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How to Help Clients Make the Most of the Treasury’s Anti-Clawback Regulations

Posted by Robert L. Arone The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the federal gift and estate tax exclusion amount, which had previously been $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) per individual. The exclusion amount for 2020, including the adjustment for inflation, is $11.58 million. However, the increase in the exclusion amount is temporary and, unless Congress extends it, will expire on December 31, 2025. This has caused concern that if taxpayers made gifts of the additional $5 million (adjusted for inflation) between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2025, the benefit could be “clawed back” in the calculation of their estate taxes if they died on or after January 1, 2026—i.e., after the expiration of the increased exclusion amount. This concern arose because gift and estate taxes are calculated together, as a unified calculation. The determination of whether any tax is due is made by applying a

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