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  ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal
  Volume 17, Number 1, February 2011
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  • Retirement Benefits And Creditors' Rights
        Alvin J. Golden
        p.5                                                                                          +cite        
        Given the economic situation, there has been an increased number of bankruptcies overseen by more aggressive trustees. One of the assets that has come under scrutiny is the inherited IRA, an IRA acquired by a non-spouse beneficiary upon the death of the account owner. Although most states have laws that clearly provide an exemption for an IRA held by the owner or the owner's spouse, the statutes are less clear with regard to inherited IRAs, probably because such assets were not given consideration when the statutes were enacted. Indeed, the 2005 amendments to the Bankruptcy Code did not clearly deal with such assets. This outline analyzes the bankruptcy statutes and state laws that apply to IRAs, the reported cases dealing with inherited IRAs, and the planning techniques (and associated issues) available to protect the beneficiary's interest in an inherited IRA. Additionally, this outline deals with other IRA issues, including considerations as to when and whether an IRA should be converted to a Roth IRA, or a Roth should be recharacterized to a standard IRA.
  • Planning For The Surviving Spouse (With Forms) (Part 1)
        Diane Hubbard Kennedy
        p.23                                                                                        +cite        
        Many if not most married couples prefer that all assets pass to the surviving spouse. Often their assets are arranged to automatically become the property of the survivor through joint ownership and beneficiary designation. Nevertheless, there may be excellent reasons why such an approach is not the optimal solution. For couples with sufficient assets, tax planning may be warranted and may result in a division of assets between husband and wife, as well as the use of trusts and other devices. In the case of second marriage, children from the prior marriage may be a part of the planning picture. Concern about one spouse's investment abilities or health may be a factor. A desire to benefit children and grandchildren before the death of the surviving spouse may also be a consideration. Finally, estate planning typically also now includes planning for incapacity through the use of advance directives addressing financial and health issues.