If you’re enrolled in a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you must consider how your health savings account (HSA) fits into your estate plan—especially to make sure that any hard-earned money left in your HSA when you die goes where you want it.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes sweeping changes to the tax code, but few directly impacting retirement benefits.”
Now that the new tax law has passed, it is time to consider how it will affect your retirement benefits. The new law eliminates Roth recharacterizations and may make qualified charitable distributions even more popular, according to Natalie Choate in “What the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Means for Retirement Benefits.”
While the term fiduciary is a legal term with a long history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests. Trustees, executors, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries. When you pick trustees, executors, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to make decisions in your and your beneficiaries’ best interests and in accordance with the instructions you leave. Luckily, understanding the basics of what each of these terms means and what to consider when making your choices can make your estate plan work far better.
Imagine a situation where daughter is serving as the agent under mom’s financial power of attorney. Mom’s estate plan provides that her estate will pass 40% to daughter, 40% to son and 20% to mom’s favorite niece. The main asset in mom’s estate is a nice (and very valuable) Westlake home. In order to avoid probate on mom’s death, daughter files a lady bird deed, naming daughter and son as the only beneficiaries of the family home. Does the slighted niece have any recourse?