Uncertainties Are Part of Estate Planning

Uncertainty overshadows the entire estate planning process including the changing tax laws and the value of your estate when you die. To combat uncertainties when developing an estate plan, you should realize that an estate plan is not a one-time endeavor. Rather, it is a plan that should be flexible to accommodate both lifestyle and law changes. For more on building flexibility into an estate plan, read this Financial Strategy.

Consumer Protection Laws—Fair Credit Reporting Act

In order to protect the confidentiality, accuracy and relevance of credit information, Credit Reporting Agencies, or CRAs, are required to follow reasonable procedures as mandated by Congress and the courts. Although there are limits on the use of credit reports, there are certain purposes in which it can be used. For more on consumer protection laws and to learn about some permissible uses of your credit report, read this Financial Strategy.

Custodial Account—Uniform Gift/Transfer to Minors Act

For a minor to own investments in his or her own name, a custodial account must be used. A custodial account is established through the Uniform Gift/Transfer to Minors Act and allows a custodian to control a savings account until the child reaches the age of majority, when the account becomes the sole possession of the child. For more information about custodial accounts and to learn about some the advantages and disadvantages, read this Financial Strategy.

IRA Contributions for High-Income Earners

For most high-income earners, the decision to make an IRA contribution is a personal one. One significant benefit of contributing to a Traditional IRA is the tax-deferred growth; however a significant drawback is the growth portion of future distributions is taxed as regular income. For the benefits and drawbacks of IRA contributions for high-income earners, read this Financial Strategy.

Credit Freeze

Legislation in Georgia has made credit freezes an effective and economical way to curb identity theft. Credit freezes lock your credit records so that no one other than you can establish new credit in your name. For more on credit freezes and how they differ from fraud alerts, read this Financial Strategy.