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Which Assets Belong in Your Living Trust – and Which Don’t?

Guidance on How to Fund Your Trust

If you’re considering setting up a living trust, know that there is more to it than simply meeting with a lawyer and signing the appropriate paperwork. Your trust won’t have any power until you fund it. To do so, you’ll need to strategize about which assets you’ll put in the trust, and then complete the necessary transfers.

For most people, there are assets that make sense to transfer to your trust, but others that you’re likely better off leaving outside the trust. Below we’ll dig into the details of both. First, though, let’s discuss the basics of a living trust.

Why Choose a Living Trust?

If you’re looking to manage your assets during your lifetime and find a way to easily pass them to your beneficiaries when you die without going through the hassles of the court system, a living trust is for you. This legal structure allows your estate to bypass probate, which is advantageous for several reasons.

Not only is probate complex, time-consuming and expensive, it also means your estate information will become public record. A trust, on the other hand, allows you to keep your finances private. Furthermore, this legal instrument gives you more control over which of your heirs get certain assets, and even when they are able to access them. For example, you could choose to pass some of your assets to your children when they turn 18, with a percentage held back until they reach age 40.

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Small Business Checklist: How to Assess Your Financial Wellness

A Five-Step Plan for Busy Business Owners

Running your business day to day takes all of your energy and focus. Your waking hours are consumed with managing and sustaining it, and you likely spend many a sleepless night on the details no one else thinks about. This is the life of a committed small business owner.

When you’re grinding day after day to keep your business well-positioned, however, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Specifically, it becomes difficult for many small business owners to find the time to monitor the overall health of their business in a meaningful way. The five-step guide below is designed to help you focus on five key elements of your business’ financial health.

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Estate Planning: Keeping Your Legacy in the Family

Ways to Ensure the Wealth You Pass on Stays with Your Children

It’s a blessing to be able to pass on significant assets to your children – and it’s likely one of the reasons you worked so diligently and saved so strategically throughout your lifetime. It’s natural to want to keep your wealth in the family, especially as we find ourselves living through an economically uncertain time. Even though you might love your daughter-in-law or son-in-law very much, recent world events have reminded us that you can’t predict what the future may hold. This leads many people to wonder whether there’s a way to leave money to their children without passing any rights on to their children’s spouses.

Typically, once you pass assets to your children outright, their spouses will have equal rights to those assets. When you have positive relationships with the spouses, it’s natural to feel a bit guilty about trying to avoid passing on any rights to your wealth. However, if you feel strongly about preserving your financial legacy for your children, there are ways to do so.

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Tax Changes Prohibit Many from Claiming Home Office Costs

Working from Home During the Pandemic? You Probably Can’t Deduct Your Expenses

If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. One of the side effects of this global health crisis has been an unprecedented experiment in forced remote work for the masses. While most states are beginning to open back up, social distancing policies are still encouraged, meaning many taxpayers are still working from home in this “new normal” we’re becoming accustomed to. In fact, a recent survey shows that 43 percent of Americans hope to continue working from home at least part-time when the pandemic subsides.

If you’re one of the millions clocking in from the comfort of your own home each day, you may be wondering whether you can take advantage of the home office tax deduction. In the past, employees who worked from home could deduct home office expenses like computer equipment and office furniture as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on line 21 of Schedule A. However, that rule has changed.

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Retirement Planning Considerations for Spouses with a Significant Age Gap

In some things in life – love, in particular – age is a fairly meaningless number. When it comes to financial planning, however, age can begin to matter quite a lot. This is why it is exceedingly important for spouses with a wide age gap to have a long-term financial plan in place. As we collectively face a time of economic uncertainty, smart long-term planning can also offer you peace of mind.

Long-term financial plans include retirement planning, of course, and this is an area in which traditional advice often won’t work well for couples separated by a decade or more. If you and your spouse are in this scenario, you’ll need a retirement plan that can accommodate the needs of two different stages of life.

Let’s explore a few of the considerations that mixed-age couples need to be aware of for proper retirement planning.

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The Cash Balance Plan: A Pension Plan for High Earners

If you’re a business owner, physician or self-employed individual, you likely face higher taxes than the majority of Americans. However, there are strategies you can use to keep more of your hard-earned money by reducing your tax liability and increasing your asset protection. One of these strategies is through a particular type of Defined Benefit Plan called the Cash Balance Plan.

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So, You’ve Inherited Money – Now What?

If you’ve been lucky enough to inherit a large sum of money, you probably experienced a flurry of emotions, including excitement at the possibilities it opens up for you and your family. However, once the initial elation wears off, it’s common to feel a bit of trepidation and confusion about how to properly manage your new fortune, especially if you don’t consider yourself particularly savvy when it comes to money.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a finance expert to make your inheritance last. Read on for six simple tips to help you make the most of your newfound financial freedom.

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Understanding the SECURE Act and How it Could Affect Your Retirement

Learn more about the sweeping legislation designed to fight America’s retirement savings crisis

In May 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, commonly called the SECURE Act. Designed to help tackle our country’s growing retirement savings crisis, the far-reaching legislation spent months tied up in the Senate. On December 19, 2019, it passed the Senate with a 71 to 23 majority.

Let’s take a look at a few standout provisions of the legislation and discuss what they could mean for you.

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When Spouses Aren’t on the Same Spending Page

Tips for Aligning Your Marital Money Attitude

Many married couples split household tasks and responsibilities, choosing to divide and conquer in an age of unprecedented busyness. For example, one spouse might handle grocery shopping while the other does all the yard work. One spouse might do daycare drop-off while the other handles the kiddos’ bedtime routine. It’s an effective and efficient way to run a household, especially if both spouses work. When it comes to money issues, however, these topics are best tackled as a team.

Spending, budgeting, and other financial issues can cause stress and anxiety, so many couples avoid these topics. However, since money issues are one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s important to work through the uncomfortable topics and get on the same spending page.

Here are five tactics for making sure you and your spouse agree on household spending and avoid money conflicts:

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Are You on Track to Meet Your Retirement Goals?

Net Worth Goals By Age

Do you find yourself wondering if you’re on track to meet your retirement goals? Are you saving diligently but still unsure whether it’s enough? A valuable benchmark to help you answer these questions is your net worth: that is, the number you’re left with when you add up your cash and other financial assets and subtract all your debts.

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PACES FERRY WEALTH ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISOR WITH THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Registration does not imply any level of skill or training. Information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites.