Estate Planning

Estate planning is a category of professional service that aims to optimize the transfer the net worth from a person who passes away to intended recipients or beneficiaries. The purpose is to maximize the wealth that is passed on to the heirs. Wealth maximization can be achieved by: reducing federal, state and inheritance taxes; minimizing or eliminating probate costs by making clear who gets what and who is in control of distributing assets, and; ensuring that enough money is set aside to pay for the various attorney, court, executor and accounting fees. Estate planning also takes into account donations to charity and the manner in which funds may be distributed to charities.

SOA Offers Consumer-Oriented Content for Retirement Decisions

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) just published a series of short whitepapers or “briefs” that focus on some of the major decisions that are encountered by retirees. This is a great resource for consumers who are seeking objective content produced by experts. The Society has clearly made efforts to create content that is accessible to a non professional audience. The briefs are clear, short and focus on consumer -relevant topics such as “when should I retire.” There are 11...

Low Interest Rates Provide a Favorable Environment for Wealth Transfer and Estate Planning

In a recent article, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig discusses estate tax planning strategies that are especially attractive given the current low interest rate environment. Zweig discusses the ability of parents to loan money to children for nine years at a fixed IRS determined interest rate (currently 2.63 percent).

West Coast Life

Short Company Name: 
West Coast Life
Long Company Name: 
West Coast Life

West Coast Life Insurance Company was started in 1906 in San Francisco with industry veteran Dr. George A. Moore as the president of the company. In 1997, West Coast Life Insurance Company merged with the Protective Life Insurance Company and now it operates as its subsidiary.

West Coast Life offers term life insurance, universal life insurance, survivor life insurance, and annuity products to individual customers. The description of their products is as follows:

Company Type: 
Insurance Company
Street Address: 
2801 Highway 280 South
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Year Founded: 

Can a 10 year variable annuity with 5 year penalties be cashed out after 5 years without penalty?

You need to take a look at the surrender charges your particular VA contract.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts at Risk

The status of grantor retained annuity trusts ("GRAT") is uncertain as a result of a bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives. According to Investment News, "the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act of 2010 would impose a 10 year minimum for estate planning vehicles and would bar "zeroed-out" GRATS." Grantor retained annuity trusts are very efficient estate planning tools. A person using a GRAT would first place some assets in a trust. That person then takes back...
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