Articles To Help Your Planning

As a service to Centier clients, we are pleased to provide published articles on a variety of topics concerning your financial planning.

Hot Topics


Ask A Trust Officer: When do Federal Estate and Gift Taxes Kick In?

What’s the story with estate and gift taxes?  Do I need to worry?—AWARE OF TRANSFER TAXES

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IRS Announces 2014 Retirement Plan Limits

To make it possible for voluntary retirement savings to keep up with inflation, the various numerical limits embedded within qualified retirement plans are indexed for inflation. In October the IRS announced the numbers that will apply in 2014, as shown in the following table:

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Strong Equity Markets

The stock markets have done well all year, with indices setting new records, recovering all the losses from the financial meltdown.  Just before Thanksgiving the NASDAQ closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years.

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Traps for Amateur Trustees

An item in Barron’s a few years ago by Lauren Foster demonstrates that being a trustee may be harder than some people expect (“The Five Biggest Ways to Bungle a Trust,” May 21, 2011).  Foster’s observations are must reading for anyone who expects to be a trustee, or who has nominated a family member to serve as a fiduciary.  

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Archived Articles


Ask A Trust Officer: RMD's and Charity

DEAR TRUST OFFICER:  I turned 70 ½ this year, so I have to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from my IRAs.  I don’t want or need these distributions, and I’m concerned that they might push me into a higher tax bracket, or even affect the taxes on my Social Security. 

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Can an Investment be Biased

Luther Carter’s revocable living trust served as his main estate planning document as well. At his death, the living trust divided into a Marital Trust, a Generation-skipping Separate Trust and a Family Trust.

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Caution on Lump Sum Payouts

A taxpayer, let’s call him Bob, left his job and received a lump sum payout of his pension accumulation. Let’s say that the payment was $100,000. To protect his retirement nest egg, Bob rolled the entire amount over to an IRA.  Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Bob, there had been a serious mistake by the pension plan administrator in calculating his lump sum, and Bob was paid more than he was due.

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Ask A Trust Officer: What are ETFs?

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: What are ETFs? What do ETFs invest in? Should ETFs be included in my portfolio?—NEW INVESTOR

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The James Gandolfini Problem, the John Lennon Solution

The death of James Gandolfini at age 51 was shocking.  Soon after the remembrances of his great acting career came an oddly public inquiry into his estate plan. His will was filed for probate, and it revealed a number of unconventional provisions. 

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Pretesting Your Retirement

Retirement is sometimes defined in terms of what one is leaving behind—a career, difficult clients, job stress, the daily commute, the grind. But for retirement to be fully satisfying, according to many experts, one needs to retire to something, not just from something. 

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