Blog Category: Private Client Services
Attention Plan Sponsors
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is taking action to better protect investment plan participants from advice that could be motivated by undisclosed conflicts of interest. On June 9, 2017, the DOL enacted new fiduciary regulations that address a wide range of investment recommendations. While aimed at financial professionals (such as advisors and recordkeepers), the new rules will also affect plan sponsors, and those working with advisors and vendors who are not acting as fiduciaries will be the first to feel the impact.
An Accident Waiting to Happen
Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye – a split second that turns a casual drive into a frightening collision. It doesn’t take long for panic to set in. You become worried about your passengers, yourself and your vehicle. One of the few calming factors during all of the chaos is knowing that this is what insurance is for. Accidents happen and insurance comes to the rescue. Right? Well, not always.
Figuring out what will happen to all of our assets when we die can be time consuming. As a result, many people simply avoid it altogether. Breaking news – everyone eventually passes on, we just don’t know when! It could happen today, tomorrow or decades from now. The fact is, death is certain and it’s important to prepare for it. With more than three decades of estate planning experience, I’ve seen it all. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that procrastination reigns. People don’t want to deal with death, so heirs are often left with a veritable scavenger hunt, trying to sort through their loved one’s assets and figure out what he or she wanted done with it all. You don’t have to burden your heirs with such an emotional and time-consuming task. Below I’ve outlined my pragmatic list of things to do from both a financial and non-financial standpoint.
Have you ever considered renting your home, apartment or secondary property for some extra income? Homeowners around the globe are using online outlets such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway to rent out their properties for daily, weekly and monthly fees. These companies cater to owners who may be away for extended periods of time or those who would like to cash in on major events coming to their cities when hotels are at full capacity and visitors are seeking alternative lodging options. For people with desirable ZIP codes, this can become a nice revenue stream. However, before handing your keys over to a third party proprietor, there are several important issues to consider to help ensure that you and your property are protected.
Self-driving. Autopilot. Lane assist. Self-braking. Semi-autonomous. Highly autonomous. Fully autonomous. These terms are all used to describe the automation of driving. As this technology becomes more sophisticated, it will likely lead to some major changes in the way we insure vehicles. Many people are beginning to speculate that it could even eliminate the need to obtain coverage for liability to third parties. It won’t be long before autonomous vehicles are everywhere on our roadways, so we have to wonder – could there be some truth to this growing suspicion?
The good news is that you’ve done well financially and established a sizeable net worth. The bad news is that you now have some tough estate planning decisions to make.
High net worth families need to consider whether they should begin gifting assets to their children and grandchildren now, or retain the assets until death and then distribute. With the convergence of income and estate tax rates, parents and their advisors need to analyze numerous and competing variables when implementing a wealth transfer plan that meets their financial goals and needs.
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. When it comes to securing your home and personal property, you will never regret preparing for the unexpected. As winter quickly approaches, I’ve outlined some general liability and property tips to help keep you off thin ice.
Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, announced in December 2015, that the board decided to raise rates by .25%. This made headlines across the country because rates have been 0% since December 2008. The committee expects to make gradual increases as the economy continues to improve.