A common and costly estate planning mistake is the improper drafting of beneficiary designations for IRA and other retirement assets. Typically, major tax savings can be obtained if after your death retirement benefits are paid out over the life expectancy of your loved ones (the "stretch IRA"). However, improper beneficiary and trust drafting may cause such benefits to be accelerated thereby disastrously increasing income taxes. Proper planning in this area is critical to achieve income tax deferral.
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