Posted on 08 March 2017.
Chartwell Capital Advisors provides a concierge service to ALL AIA Virginia members. Yes, we can provide a comprehensive benefits program to the largest architectural firms in Virginia, but we also are here to serve every employee (or family member) that is an AIA Virginia member.
How Does This Work?
You don’t have to own an architectural firm to have us help you. If you are an AIA Virginia member and have a question or a need, simply call or email us. You can ask us to help you with:
- Financial Planning Issues
- Legal Advice
- Health Insurance
- Property and Casualty Insurance ( even auto and homeowners)
- Life, Annuities and Retirement Plans
- Ancillary Benefits, like dental, vision, tele-doc, pharmacy, etc.
We Take a Holistic Approach to Your Needs
In February, we were asked to evaluate a 150 employee company with personnel spread across the United States and several European cities. We have found significant ways to improve their health care and retirement benefits, to reduce the costs of their worker’s compensation and to avoid paying taxes in several jurisdictions. However, we have also met with numerous individuals. Sometimes the process begins with estate and business succession planning.
Almost always, in the course of this work, we “see” and then recommend various ways for the client to better their financial situation. This can take the form of tax avoidance suggestions, the replacement of poor performing financial products or simply ways to reduce existing monthly expenditures like health insurance, car insurance, and other products. We helped people with tax returns, long-term care insurance and doing the legal work for new business start-ups. Our staff does a lot of work ourselves, but we also work with other dedicated professionals across the Commonwealth, all in an effort to give each client comprehensive, holistic and caring personal services.
It doesn’t cost anything to talk to us and start the dialogue. We only get paid if we find ways to help you and you wish to engage us. We love helping people and finding ways to make their lives better.
Financial and legal matters are in a constant state of flux. We try and keep ourselves informed about issues that can help our clients and in turn relay some of these ideas to our clients. If you have a question about an issue, we might have some pertinent data in our library to send you, so don’t be afraid to contact us. Here are two issues to leave you with.
#1 Long-Term Care
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, If one reaches 65 in age, there is a 70% chance that this person will need some form of assisted living or long term care. This type of health care is very expensive and can quickly “eat up” an estate.
Not too very long ago, long-term care insurance was much like fire insurance on a building. One could pay insurance for several decades, but if there was no fire, there was no pay out. Thus, one could pay long-term care premiums, but never get a return on the premiums if one did not have a long-term care incident. Things have changed.
Today there are several long-term care products that make sure that even if one does not have a long-term care incident, one can get a return on these premium payments. These very flexible and dynamic products will allow the insured to get a 100% return of premiums (after a certain vesting period). They also can be used for long-term care needs, but if there are no such needs, can be used as life insurance and pay an income tax-free death benefit.
Thus, one can be assured that his estate is not eaten up by medical expenses, and also get a “return” on all premium payments such that this money builds wealth and is put to use, even though there is not a long term health need.
Planning is important, and the sooner one addresses this issue, the better the results.
#2 How to Protect Your Retirement Account
Shocking to most people, your retirement accounts can be seized once they pass to your loved ones. During your lifetime, your retirement funds have asset protection, meaning they can’t be taken in a lawsuit. Unfortunately, as soon as retirement accounts are inherited, the protection evaporates. This means your hard earned money can legally be snatched by strangers and the courts.
As estate planning attorneys, we constantly look for ways to protect our clients as well as their loved ones and assets. That’s why we suggest we have a conversation about your retirement accounts and together determine whether a retirement trust would make sense for you.
What is a Standalone Retirement Trust & Why is it Good For You?
A Standalone Retirement Trust (SRT) is a special type of revocable trust.
The SRT is popular because it:
- Protects inherited retirement accounts from beneficiaries’ creditors as well as predators and lawsuits
- Ensures retirement accounts go to whom you designate – and nobody else
- Allows for experienced management and oversight of assets by a professional trustee
- Prevents beneficiaries from reckless spending or gambling
- Enables proper planning for a special needs beneficiary
- Permits you to name minor beneficiaries as immediate beneficiaries without court-supervised guardianship
- Facilitates generation-skipping transfer tax planning
Divorce Creditor – A Common Example
Many parents are concerned that their in-laws may someday become the outlaws; they may someday get divorced and inherited assets can be seized by a divorcing spouse.
Here’s the story of Mary and Tom – which outcome would you prefer for your children?
Option 1: Mary and Tom love their son-in-law, Mike, and think his marriage to their daughter Liz will last. They gave Liz her share of their retirement plans outright at their deaths. Five years later, Liz and Mike divorced and Mike was able to take 50% of Liz’s inherited retirement funds.
Option 2: Mary and Tom love their son-in-law, Mike, but recognize that 50% of all couples end up in divorce. It’s an unfortunate reality, so when they did their estate planning, they provided for their children, but made sure the inheritances couldn’t be taken from them. Instead of outright distributions, they passed their retirement plans in trust. Five years later, Liz and Mike divorced and Mike was not able to take any of Liz’s inheritance.
Want to know more? While every situation is different, we can help you determine if an SRT is right for you.
Please feel free to contact us for any reason.
View AIAVA Benefits Package
Chartwell Capital Advisors
Robert C. Smith, PLC
The Branch House
2501 Monument Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23220
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as written advice about a Federal tax matter. Readers should consult with their own professional advisors to evaluate or pursue tax, accounting, financial, or legal planning strategies.