You may have heard that the federal appropriations bill enacted into law by Congress and the President in the final weeks of 2019 includes changes to the federal tax code that may affect your qualified retirement plan (such as a 401(k)) or IRA (sometimes called “retirement assets” in this letter). Those changes, often referred to as the “SECURE Act,” may affect you during your lifetime, but may also affect the way in which those retirement assets may be distributed to your beneficiaries after your death. Significantly, the SECURE Act may impact the timing and amount of tax paid by those beneficiaries on distributions of the retirement assets, as well as your ability to protect the retirement assets from the beneficiaries’ creditors, and ultimately may affect the value of those retirement assets in the hands of the beneficiaries.
There are many reasons to have an attorney review your estate plan every few years. This is especially important for couples with estate plans that included estate tax planning provisions before the federal estate tax exemption significantly increased over the last decade. Due to the dramatic rise in the estate tax exemption, many couples who no longer face estate taxes should amend their estate plans to take advantage of future income tax savings.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law on December 22, 2017 by President Trump added a new deduction for noncorporate taxpayers (i.e. S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and trusts) who have qualified business income. This deduction, found in section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code, is also referred to as the “business pass-through income deduction.”
Adlai Stevenson said that which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.