Wills, Trusts & Estates
Law Office of Steven M Berger, LLC


News & Updates

WealthCounsel Training on Retirement Plans

I just returned from three days in Grapevine, Texas getting trained on the latest features of WealthCounsel software and the latest changes in Estate Planning. The change I am bringing back to my practice is the use of Standalone Retirement Trusts to hold retirement assets. WealthCounsel has developed a trust that can hold a retirement asset such as an Individual Retirement Plan or other Qualified Plan. By proper drafting the trust can stretch the distributions over the life of the beneficiary instead of the life of the deceased. If the trust is designed as a conduit trust, all distributions flow directly to the beneficiary. If the trust is designed as an accumulation trust, the trust can hold the distributions for further growth, allow for creditor protection, and allow a minor to reach an age where he or she can receive the funds. The retirement account can also be used to fund a bypass trust to avoid federal and state estate taxes. The trust can hold assets for a surviving spouse using the deceased spouse's exemption. The use of this strategy depends on the couples' estate plan and what other assets are available to utilize the deceased spouse's estate exemption.

The drafting of a retirement trust depends on the beneficiary's circumstances, the type of retirement asset, and the other assets available to the beneficiary. I am available to consult with you on whether a retirement trust fits into your estate plan.

Training in Texas.