Tax Warrior Chronicles

Why Beneficiary Designations Are Critically Important

Posted on Wed, Jul 28, 2021

by: Cecilia Fernandes and Robert N. Polans, CPA, MT, PFS, ChFC


The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly took the lives of many loved ones. It made many of us stop and reflect deeply about what is most important: health and family! With that in mind, there is no better time than now to check your beneficiary designations related to your retirement plan accounts, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, tax-deferred annuities, and life insurance policies, to ensure they are all up to date and in line with your overall estate distribution goals.

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Unprepared Heirs: Starting the Family Conversation About Wealth Transfer (Updated)

Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2020

In these challenging and uncertain times, planning for generational wealth transfer is more important than ever.  We've updated this piece from 2018 to, again, help families discuss wealth among themselves and how it will successfully pass from one generation to the next. 


The reports differ from $30 trillion to perhaps only $9 trillion, but nearly all experts agree the greatest wealth transfer in history will happen in the next 25 years with a significant transfer of wealth happening in the next 10. Is your family prepared?

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The SECURE Act - Significant Changes for IRAs and 401(k)s – Part II

Posted on Fri, Jan 03, 2020

By: Beth Gaasbeck, CPA, MBA and Robert N. Polans, CPA, MT, PFS


Welcome to Part II of our two-part blog discussing the SECURE Act and its impact on retirement and estate planning.  The Act was signed by the President on December 20, 2019, and is effective as of January 1, 2020. Today’s focus is on the not-so-good parts of the Act.

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Major Changes to Estate Plans? Consider a Letter of Competency

Posted on Tue, Mar 26, 2019

Changes to wills can result in messy litigation when an heir is unhappy with the change.  Dementia and other health issues that affect one’s mental capacity can be devastating and can complicate estate administration.  An heir may claim that the decedent was not mentally competent when the change was made.  This is particularly common when an heir is removed from a will entirely or if there has been a change in medical power of attorney.  However, there are steps you can take to mitigate these challenges.

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Changes to Estate Plans with Increased $10M Exclusion

Posted on Thu, Apr 05, 2018

By: Nastassja Markham Coletta, JD, LLM


The new tax law provides opportunities for individuals to pass considerably more wealth on to their loved ones. Beginning in 2018, the federal exemption for gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes is doubled from $5 million to $10 million (adjusted for inflation). For 2018, the inflation-adjusted exemption amount is expected to be $11.18 million. This means, on the federal level, a married couple can potentially leave over $22 million tax-free to their heirs. But, there is a catch.

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Overcoming Family Business Challenges: Nepotism, Retention & Succession

Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012

This week on The Tax Warrior Blog, we are taking an in-depth look at the five most common challenges facing family businesses and how to overcome them. In our last post, we examined the top two: Feuding and Emotions. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at challenges three to five and provide you with best-practice recommendations based on our years of family business consulting experience.

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