Blog

Continuing Operations During the Coronavirus – We Are Still Here to Serve You

We want you to know that we are still up and running during the Coronavirus crisis. We are considered to be an “essential service” according to the New York State guidelines. In order to keep everyone safe, healthy, and informed, we are providing you a combination of remote and on-site services.

NYS Unemployment and Pandemic Assistance Due to COVID-19

Please be aware that under the CARES Act, New York State has expanded Unemployment Insurance Benefits related to COVID-19 to provide additional benefits and allow additional categories traditionally not covered. The following information gives a brief summary of the main benefits offered and links to pertinent information to help you apply from the NYS Department of Labor website.

Estate, Gift & Trust Planning Considerations: Planning Before the 2020 Elections

If you: • have an estate of $1,000,000 plus, • are using annual exclusion gifting to fund insurance premiums in an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT), • have grantor trusts, including rolling GRATs, or any other trust strategies, • are front-loading 529 contributions for children or grandchildren,

Key Provisions of the SECURE Act of 2019 Affecting You as an Individual

In December 2019, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the SECURE Act. This landmark legislation, (which stands for Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), may affect how you plan for your retirement. Most of the provisions go into effect in 2020, which means now is the time to consider how these new rules may affect your tax and retirement-planning situation. Here is a look at some of the more important elements of the SECURE Act that may have an impact on you as an individual taxpayer. The changes in the law might provide you and your family with tax-savings opportunities. However, not all of the changes are favorable, and there may be steps you could take to minimize their impact.

Avoiding Required Minimum Distribution Mistakes

You’ve reached age 70 ½ and you know that you must take any required minimum distributions (RMDs) by April 1st of the year following this milestone. Better yet, perhaps you are in your early or mid-sixties, and want to plan ahead to get the maximum benefit of these rules. There are some common mistakes that are made. It may be best to do a detailed review of your situation to make sure all the requirements have been met. Remember that you can always take more than your RMD, but not less. Forgetting to take your RMD when required can result in a 50% penalty of the RMD amount from the IRS.

The Importance of Beneficiary Reviews

IRAs are different from other assets. Company plan assets and insurance policies also are governed by different rules, and they must be considered separately from other assets. They generally pass by contract, and not under the provisions of your will. The beneficiary form usually supersedes other documents, so planning and administering these documents are key, especially when the majority of your assets are held in these accounts. These forms should be reviewed annually, and designations should be confirmed with all custodians to make sure their records correctly represent your wishes. Mistakes with beneficiary forms can be key in administering your estate, and your loved ones may suffer severe consequences if these forms are not in order upon your death. Many times, disasters have arisen when beneficiary forms have not been updated for critical lifetime events, such as marriage and divorce.

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