When making a sizeable donation as a direct gift, you know exactly how much you can afford to give and how it will affect your overall finances, but you may wish you could do more. If so, charitable trusts and annuities provide ways for you to make a major charitable donation while simultaneously receiving reimbursements that can help provide financial security.

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You worked hard all your life, contributed regularly to your 401(k), and built a healthy balance. You may want to leave some of that money to your heirs. Of course, the last thing you want is for a big chunk to be taken out for taxes, or for your heirs to be left with a tax burden. In fact, two of the biggest tax considerations affecting how your 401(k) account will be distributed after you die are when the income tax is paid and by whom.

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Fidelity Viewpoints

Your estate plan should be reviewed regularly to ensure it continues to meets your needs

Do you remember when you last reviewed your estate plan? If the answer is when you first signed the stack of documents at your attorney’s office, then you’re not alone. Many of us complete an estate plan and then fail to revisit it for years (and some never do).

It is important, however, to review a plan every so often due to ever-changing tax laws and major life events, such as a birth, marriage, divorce, or death. At a minimum, an estate plan should be dusted off and revisited at least every three years, to help ensure alignment with current laws.

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Fidelity Viewpoints

How to make the most of higher exclusions, and a popular portability provision

I’ll do it tomorrow. How common is that reaction to the mere mention of estate planning? But, there are good reasons to get down to it, even if your wealth currently falls below the federal estate and gift tax exclusion amounts.

The lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion, which allows you to pass money to heirs, other than your spouse, free of federal estate or gift taxes, is $5.45 million in 2016. There is also an unlimited marital deduction, which allows you to leave an unlimited amount to your spouse’s estate, tax free.1 So, when you leave money to your spouse, you are not using up any of your exclusion amount.

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Fidelity Viewpoints

Not just for the wealthy, a thoughtful estate plan can give you and your loved ones true peace of mind.

For many people, creating an estate plan is a task that routinely gets pushed to the bottom of the pile. Some assume that estate plans are only for the wealthy. Others may simply want to avoid thinking about some of the tough topics estate planning entails. Whatever the reason, the majority of Americans—some 64 percent—don’t even have a basic will.1

Yet, most everyone should have an estate plan.

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Fidelity Viewpoints

If you haven’t stopped to consider how a trust can help you successfully pass your legacy, you could be missing a huge opportunity. For those with substantial assets, protecting wealth should be top of mind. Nonetheless, individuals, couples and families often go through the process of planning for their estate without fully appreciating the advantages of using a trust. These legal documents are flexible and powerful tools which provide greater control and precision when passing wealth to future generations. There are many types of trusts available; each designed to achieve specific goals based on your unique circumstances. Working with a qualified Wealth Advisor and Attorney, you and your beneficiaries will be well on the way to benefiting from a trust as described below.

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