High-Quality Estate Planning and Administration Attorneys

A large portion of estates and inheritances today consist of tax-deferred retirement accounts, including IRAs and 401(k)s. Because of this, planning for the tax-conscious distribution of retirement benefits is an essential aspect of estate planning. Unlike most inherited property, retirement accounts are subject to income tax. That is because retirement accounts represent income that has not yet been taxed. Once the person with the retirement account passes away (the decedent), the beneficiaries of the account generally must pay tax on the amounts they withdraw from the retirement fund. It is important to consult with an experienced estate attorney in San Jose or Danville to develop a plan for the receipt of retirement benefits.

We represent beneficiaries of retirement accounts throughout Fremont, Walnut Creek, Danville, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Francisco, and other counties.

Representation for Surviving Spouses Obtaining Retirement Accounts

Our estate lawyers at Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP offer advice and representation to beneficiaries inheriting retirement accounts. A primary goal for most beneficiaries is to defer income taxes on retirement accounts for as long as possible. The taxation of distributions after the death of the decedent depends on whether the retirement account is a tax-deferred account and whether a spouse is a beneficiary; whether there is another “designated beneficiary,” which may be a trust; whether estates, charities, or business entities, which are not considered designated beneficiaries under the law, are named beneficiaries; and whether there are multiple beneficiaries.

If the decedent names their spouse as the primary beneficiary, the surviving spouse has the option of rolling over the retirement account into their own IRA or retirement plan. The spouse may then defer withdrawals from the account until age 70 1/2, when all taxpayers must begin to withdraw a required minimum distribution (RMD) annually. Non-spousal beneficiaries may spread distributions over a five-year period or they may open a “beneficiary IRA” and take minimum distributions over a lifetime.

Our retirement services attorneys examine the situation and advise beneficiaries on the best methods to preserve retirement accounts and defer tax consequences given the circumstances. We assist with all aspects of retirement accounts for the benefit of beneficiaries:

  • Retitling and rolling over of accounts for surviving spouses
  • Trust beneficiaries
  • Beneficiary IRAs
  • Multi-beneficiary distribution
  • Creditor protection
  • Strategic withdrawal planning

San Jose attorneys protecting the rights and interests of beneficiaries in retirement accounts

The experienced San Jose and Danville lawyers of Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP offer advance estate planning that considers the tax and creditor consequences of retirement accounts for beneficiaries. We also provide beneficiary representation for inherited retirement accounts. Our San Jose estate or Danville attorneys are available to consult with clients at our offices — located at 2502 Stevens Creek Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128 and 140 Town and Country Drive, Suite A, Danville, CA 94526 — or at any other convenient location. Call our San Jose office at 408-290-7210, our Danville office at 925-233-4399 or contact Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP online today.