I had the opportunity to join my colleagues from across the country for an update on estate planning and administration looking forward from 2019. We are entering a period where there will be an unprecedented transfer of wealth as the baby boomers are reaching the ends of their lives. The increased demand for estate and trust administration services is spurring the development of improved software and procedures. The growth of electronic access to accounts is proving to be a hindrance to quick administration. Financial companies have increased their scrutiny of requests for transfer on death or payable on death applications. One of the reasons is the opportunity for “bad actors” to use death as an opportunity to wrongfully grab accounts. The number of accounts people have is increasing and the location of the institution can be anywhere in the world. Our firm will be one of the first users of WealthCounsel’s new trust administration software as we seek to improve our service to families settling the affairs of a loved one.
Taxes as always were a big topic of discussion led by tax guru, Bob Keepler. Plans are being formulated on the premise that tax rates will eventually increase from today’s rates and the estate tax exemption will decrease. The large retirement accounts that baby boomers have accumulated were a topic of discussion should “The Secure Act of 2019” pass the Senate. Natalie Choate led the discussion on the new legislation that could impact the value of retirement assets left to children.
Boston was a great venue for the conference and the sunset over the city was taken returning from a dinner outing to Thompson Island. I returned to the office rested and ready to put the continuing education to good use helping my clients.