Weatherly’s Fall Checklist
Kelli Ruby, CFP®, Wealth Management Advisor, Partner | Chrissy Rhamy, Operations Associate | September 1, 2021
As we welcome the beginning of fall with the start of September, here at Weatherly we are already sipping on pumpkin-flavored drinks and preparing for year-end planning conversations with our clients. To assist your team of advisors in giving the best advice as well as employing the most opportune investment strategies, we often request a few documents from you. In this month’s blog, we’d like to highlight important documents and how they help your advisors in tailoring advice specifically to you.
2020 Tax Return and Asset Allocation Review
- Having your tax return on file is helpful for many planning strategies but is especially important when factoring in any unrealized gains and losses for the year. As we look to de-risk portfolios, reduce concentration risk and rebalance taxable accounts, we like to account for capital gains and how this may impact your marginal tax bracket. Remember – capital gains are an indication your account has seen good growth and often are necessary to ensure we have room to incorporate new investment themes into your portfolios.
- We also welcome any other tax related items you think our team might find helpful for year-end planning – this could include a summary of your income year-to-date so we can offer advice on tax mitigation strategies like retirement and charitable contributions.
- There are many ways to give to charity with two-fold benefits – donating to organizations you are passionate about and reducing your tax liability. Your team of advisors can discuss what options are available to you each year given your unique circumstances.
- If any qualified chartable distributions (QCDs) still need to be made from your IRA or if you’d like to donate directly from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF), please let your advisor know which charity or charities you would like to donate to.
Contributions to Retirement Accounts
- Many retirement plans like employer-sponsored 401ks and self-employed 401ks have a year-end deadline for making contributions. You can view this year’s contribution limits on our Key Data Chart – our advisors are here to help you review your options and funding methods.
Updated Estate Documents
- Given the potential changes to tax and estate laws, this year provided many people the opportunity to update their estate documents, including trusts, wills, etc. We wrote about 5 estate planning strategies to consider earlier this year.
- If we do not have an updated copy of your estate documents, please post them to our secure portal for our records. If you are not sure whether we have your estate documents on file, please let us know and we will be happy to check our records for you.
Information to Update or Add Beneficiaries
- It is essential to have beneficiaries on all your accounts to avoid assets going through the cumbersome probate process if you were to pass, as highlighted in this article. Our team does periodic audits of our accounts to ensure there are beneficiary designations, and your designations should be reviewed annually or when you face big life changes.
- If you need to update your beneficiaries or add any beneficiaries, please email your advisor. If we need any birthdays or social security numbers, we ask you to please upload a document containing that information to our portal.
Year End Gifting
- As your assets grow and accumulate, you may want to consider gifting to kids or grandkids. The annual gift limit for 2021 is $15k per person, per beneficiary; as a couple you can gift $30k per beneficiary.
- There are many ways to provide additional gifting above the annual exclusion – the blog post we highlighted above touches on these alternatives. You may want to talk to your advisor about strategies that pique your interest and how we engage in the family conversation.
Documents Supporting Upcoming Transfer of Asset (TOA) Opportunities
- We provide our best advice when we have your full financial picture available. If you have any large asset transfers in your immediate horizon, such as a home sale, an inheritance, or wish to transfer a significant amount of money into or out of your portfolio, please provide that information to your advisor and post any related information to our portal. This information also helps us to provide guidance on how to invest future assets and implement tax planning strategies like those outlined above.
CIRAL – Client Information Release Authorization Form
- Our team is working towards acquiring all our clients’ personal and professional contacts in preparation for an unexpected event. We request our clients to fill out and return our Client Information Release Authorization Letter (CIRAL). This form, which can be downloaded here, outlines the contacts whom we can reach out to in the event it is necessary. If you have already submitted your CIRAL but wish to change your contacts, we welcome an updated version at any time. Similar to your beneficiaries, this should be reviewed annually.
Cyber security is always top of mind here at Weatherly. When supplying our team with forms and documents, please utilize our secure portal. You can also use our portal to view your accounts and statements at any time, anywhere.
If you do not currently have a portal and would like to get set up with one, please email us and we will be happy to do so. If you need assistance downloading documents from our portal or posting documents, please see our handy portal help PDF that will walk you through the steps. We are also available to answer any questions as they arise via phone or email.
The holidays can be stressful and year-end planning can seem overwhelming, but your Weatherly team is here to help make your financial picture something you do not need to worry about. Cheers to a pleasant autumn and a festive fourth quarter of 2021!
** The information provided should not be interpreted as a recommendation, no aspects of your individual financial situation were considered. Always consult a financial professional before implementing any strategies derived from the information above.