“Estate planning is not just about taxes — it is also about family.”
You will find a huge body of material below covering estate planning and other issues relating to all sorts of retirment plans, IRAs, SEPs, ROTH-IRAs, Qualified Plans, Nonqualified Plans, etc.
2014 - IRA-QPs Investing in Closely Held Business
This is the latest iteration of an article 25 years in the making. The article is a high-level discussion of the many, many complex issues that can arise if an IRA or qualified plan invests in something other than conventional publicly traded stocks and bonds. It covers issues such as real estate investments, investing in employer stock, investing in an LLC or partnership. Covered are the prohibited transaction issues, self-dealing prohibitions, unrelated business taxable income, ESOP issues, etc.
2012 - The Minimum Distribution Rules Affecting IRAs and Qualified Plans
(QSPs) in a Nutshell (With Special Sections on Community Property and
Bypass Trust Funding Issues)
This is the latest iteration of a memo designed for clients who want to understand how the minimum required distribution (MRD or RMD) rules work under IRC 401(a)(9). It was last prepared for a State Bar of Texas Professional Development Seminar "Advanced Estate Planning Strategies" course held in April of 2012 in Santa Fe, NM, where I was a panelist with Prof. Thomas Featherston, Alvin Goldin and Stephanie Donoho. The subject of the panel was community property and so this version of the Memo has an article added that discusses community property laws as applied to IRAs and other retirement benefits, and which discusses in particular problems planners face when they seek to fund a bypass trust with a community property IRA. A possible solution to this thorny problem is proffered and discussed.
2011 - ABA Creditor Claims & Conflict Laws IRAs SEPs
This was a paper submitted at a National ALI-ABA webinar. Al Golden was my co-panelist. The subject covered is not one you find much written about. I wrote it because it seemed that no one else had already done so.
There is not much literature on Simplified Employer Plans (SEPs), nor are they well understood. Generally, the employer signs a simple IRS prepared form that is about two pages long. It is not uncommon for the form to never be read by anyone. This is understandable in the case of a 150 page defined benefit plan, but not here. The way a SEP operates is that the employer makes a uniform contribution as a percentage of salary to the individual IRAs of each participant. The SEP is probably subject to ERISA. Are the IRAs subject to ERISA? If so, the anti-alienation provision of ERISA that applies to qualified plans do not apply to the SEP, for reasons explained in the article. However, what about the individual IRAs. They might be covered by a state law exemption for IRAs. If so, is the state law exemption preempted. What if the SEP is one state, the IRA owner in another, and the SEP-IRA in a third. Which law governs? These and other issues are discussed in this article.
2009 - MRD Final Regs Annotated 1.401(a)(9)
This is well over 100 pages. The regulations themselves are around 100 pages. I added comments (annotations) to those provisions I found interesting and worth commenting upon. There are 257 of such instances.
2004 - EP QPs & IRAs - Article 2: Survivor Benefits Under The Retirement Equity Act
2004 - EP QPs & IRAs - Article 5: Creditor Issues
This area of the law is very esoteric. But it is equally very important. In most, but not all, cases, your IRA and qualified retirement plan is an exempt asset under state or federal law.
2004 - EP QPs & IRAs - Article 9: Controlling Timing and Form of Distributions 411(d)(6)
2004 - EP QPs & IRAs - Article 13: Marital and Community Property Issues IRAs and Qualified Plans
These materials are not meant to and may not be relied upon, but are published for discussion purposes only. Rule 7.04(b) disclosures.
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