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Financial Word of the Week: Credit Shelter Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - credit shelter trust

A Credit Shelter Trust (also known as family trust, non-marital trust or bypass trust) is one that is usually employed as part of a married individual’s estate plan. Upon the death of the first spouse, it is funded with the estate tax exempt amount, sometimes referred to as the Unified Credit. Such a trust is often structured to provide benefits to a decedent’s surviving spouse, without triggering estate tax upon the second spouse’s death. Property in the credit shelter trust can then pass through to descendants upon the death of the surviving spouse with no estate taxes paid by the estate of either spouse. In 2015, the estate tax exempt amount is $5,430,000.

In light of the high exemption amount, it is always a good time to update your estate plan with your legal advisor.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Estate Tax

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Financial Word of the Week - estate tax

If you’re an heir to a relative or friend’s estate, you need to know what an estate tax is AND realize that there’s a good chance it may not apply to you as it once would have in the past. Estate tax is a transfer tax imposed when someone passes away and leaves his or her assets to you. Currently, the federal government and 16 individual states charge an estate tax.

The federal estate tax rate is currently at 40 percent. Fortunately, the tax code allows all individuals to pass a certain amount of assets (either during their lifetime, at death or a combination of both) before those transfers are subject to the federal estate tax. This amount has jumped dramatically in the past 15 years, going from $675,000 in 2001 to $5,430,000 in 2015. As a result, many estates will not be subject to a federal estate tax.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Corporate Fiduciary

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Financial Word of the Week - corporate fiduciary

A corporate fiduciary is a financial institution that exercises fiduciary‡ responsibility for the benefit of an individual or individuals. Mostly commonly, it’s children and the elderly who need fiduciaries. A fiduciary exercises a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property. Fiduciaries can be known by many names – trustee, executor and conservator are a few common examples of fiduciaries in an estate planning context. For more, read our post on “What are fiduciaries and why do you need them?”

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Corporate fiduciary vs. individual fiduciary

Some of the advantages to hiring a corporate fiduciary over an individual fiduciary include gaining the institution’s financial expertise, neutrality, longevity, and high standard of care. Corporate fiduciaries have these pros:

  • many years of experience in managing and investing funds for clients,
  • no ties to any one beneficiary, and so will be in the best place to follow the grantor’s wishes,
  • longevity that eliminates concerns that death or disability of an individual fiduciary will  interfere with management of assets, and
  • will exercise a high standard of care, as they have internal safeguards and audits to ensure compliance to state and federal regulations governing fiduciary conduct.

Regardless of the nature of the role, the aim of a corporate fiduciary is to make the best financial decision for the beneficial owner of any assets under its supervision.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Remainder Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - charitable remainder trust

Conceptually, a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is similar to a charitable lead trust (CLT), except the payouts happen in the reverse order. In fact, a CRT is a trust that provides for distributions  to one or more individuals for a term specified under the terms of the CRT, with the balance passing to one or more charities at the end of the specified term.  The individuals generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The individuals will generally receive these payments either for a term of years (up to 20 years) or throughout the lives of one or more named individuals.

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Unlike a CLT, a CRT is considered a tax-exempt trust, and the trust itself does not pay any taxes. This allows the donor a current charitable deduction for contributions made to the CRT with the amount of the deduction being the present value of the remainder interest that will pass to charity. This makes a CRT a great vehicle for highly appreciated assets as the assets can be contributed to the CRT and the assets will not generate any tax to the trust when sold inside the CRT. However, it is important to note that the payments made to the individuals, may be subject to taxes at the individual level. Also, it is important to note that in order to receive the tax benefits and to qualify as a CRT, the IRS has placed certain restrictions on how a CRT must be structured, this is in part to ensure that a portion of the assets will in fact pass to the designated charities.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Lead Trust

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

Last week, we told you what a beneficiary is and advice on how to name them in your will, trust or life insurance policy.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is an irrevocable trust that provides an income interest to one or more charities with the remainder either reverting back to the donor, or passing to one or more individuals named by the donor. The charities generally receive an annual payment equal to a fixed annuity amount or a percentage of the trust assets valued annually.  The trust can be established for the charitable payout to last for a term of years, based on a measuring life, or a combination of the two. After the end of the charitable period, the remaining property will pass to the individuals as specified in the trust (frequently the family members of the donor). The grantor may qualify, depending on the arrangement, for a current income tax charitable deduction for the present value of the charitable gift.

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CLTs are a highly useful way to simultaneously support a charitable organization of the settlor’s choice while still retaining the assets long term for the use of the settlor or his beneficiaries.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Beneficiary

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Financial Word of the Week - beneficiary

The technical definition of a beneficiary is one who benefits from the act of another.  In the financial world, the term beneficiary is used in many contexts, generally to describe an individual or entity that is to receive an interest in property.

Some of the most common uses of the term beneficiary include:

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  • naming a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan or IRA,
  • designating the individuals who are to receive an interest in property upon the death of the original owner (generally through the use of a Will or trust), and
  • using a transfer on death or pay on death designation on a financial account (such a s a checking account, savings account or investment account).

When you’re designating beneficiaries, you can generally name individuals, charities, organizations or trusts. You might even list a group of individuals, such as surviving family members.

Many financial advisors urge clients to review their list of beneficiaries as often as possible, but most importantly after a life-changing event in which their financial priorities may have changed. This may include a death of a loved one, birth, marriage, divorce, a significant change in the individual’s financial situation or a significant change to the tax law.

It’s important to be as specific as possible when naming beneficiaries to avoid any confusion once the benefactor passes away. You should state how the benefits are doled out if one or more beneficiaries are not able to receive their distribution. This could occur if a person lists four children as beneficiaries, with each listed to receive one-fourth of the estate. If one of those children passes away before the benefactor, it could affect the distribution process if clear conditional instructions have not been included. You should also consider whether you would like the named beneficiary to have complete access to the assets or if you would like to restrict access in some manner.  For example, for many assets it may be possible to name a trust as the beneficiary and have the trust provide for limited distributions to the individuals for their health, education, maintenance and support (or however the benefactor desires to limit the distributions).

Because the naming of beneficiaries can have a substantial impact on your financial and estate plan, it is important to visit with your attorney or financial planner to see what options are available and to determine how such designations impact your individual plan.

For more information on estate planning, check out our post on the benefits of a will.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Mutual Fund

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Financial Word of the Week - mutual funds

A mutual fund is an easy way to invest your money and receive the benefits of a diversified investment portfolio. The fund is usually made up of multiple types of investments like stocks or bonds. The fund’s portfolio manager handles your money invested in the fund.

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Just like with any investment tool, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.  Here’s a short list:

Advantages:

  • Investors with smaller amounts can get into the game. Your investment is affected by ups and downs of the market and may generate additional taxable income.  Remember, you are pooling your investment with a group of people who are all hoping to make a profit.
  • You are working with professionals who have your best interest in mind. Mutual funds bring diversification, meaning you can spread your money out into multiple investment strategies. The funds are usually very liquid as well, meaning you can access your money in a short period of time..

Disadvantages:

  • You don’t have control over the fund – the portfolio manager and the market do. It will be important to trust your portfolio managers in the decisions they will make for you and to carefully select funds based on your risk tolerance and investment time frame.
  • Management fees are most likely associated with the fund, so it is important to understand the fee structure. Another thing to consider is that you will not know the exact price of your fund before you invest or redeem. The price of most funds is determined once every business day after the market is closed and your trade is valued at that price.

If you want more information about mutual funds, we recommend doing some research through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissionor the Investment Company Institute.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

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Financial Word of the Week

So far this month, we talked about a few savings account options, including HSAs, FSAs and 401(k) plans.  Two other common retirement savings account options are traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

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Traditional IRAs

A traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a savings account for retirement that gives you tax advantages. The contributions you make to your traditional IRA might be deductible from your taxes depending on a few circumstances.

The IRS sets the limit on how much you can contribute. This year the maximum amount is $5,500 or $6,500 if you are 50 or older. Even if you contribute less than this amount, your contribution is still eligible for tax deductions.

Generally, if you are contributing to a traditional IRA, you cannot access the money without a tax penalty until you are 65, have participated in the plan for at least 10 years or terminate service with your employer. You can learn more on the IRS website.

Roth IRAs

A Roth IRA is a savings account for retirement where the contributions are not tax-deductible. Roth IRAs are very flexible. You can withdraw your regular contributions without a tax penalty or fee; however, you generally cannot withdraw your earnings on the contributions without penalty until you are 59.5 or have held the account for five years.

In order to be eligible to contribute a Roth IRA, your modified adjusted gross income must be less limits established by the IRS. There are also contribution limits. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you cannot contribute more than you make in a year if your earned income is less than your contribution limit. So if you make $4,000 a year at a part-time job, you wouldn’t be allowed to contribute $5,000 to your Roth IRA using other funds like interest from another savings account.

Another advantage is if you decide to work during retirement, you can continue to contribute to the account. You can also leave money in your Roth IRA for as long as you live. Learn more on the IRS website.

While there are many savings options available, always do your research first and talk to a trusted financial advisor to ensure you are using the best account for your unique retirement goals.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: 401(k) Plan

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Financial Word of the Week

A 401(k) plan is a retirement savings account usually offered through your employer. Some employers will offer a match or non-elective contribution to your retirement account, which is a smart way to help you reach your retirement goals faster.

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It’s important to understand the plan your company offers to ensure you are getting the full employer match by contributing as much as you need to be. Remember, your employer’s contribution match is free money!

The contribution you elect to make is taken out of your salary before taxes. The IRS regulates how much you can contribute each year. For 2015, the limit is $18,000. If you are 50 or older (and therefore closer to retiring), you can contribute an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution. 401(k) contributions are usually invested in mutual funds, which will be covered later in our series. Generally, a 401(k) account cannot be accessed until you are 65 without early withdrawal tax penalties.

Use our calculator to obtain an estimate of where you stand with your retirement savings.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan, stay tuned for next week’s post when we explore other retirement savings account options.

 


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Financial Word of the Week: HSA vs. FSA

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Financial Word of the Week

You’ve probably heard a lot about health savings accounts (HSAs) recently. They have been all over the news because the industry saw a 29 percent increase in the number of accounts in 2014. In fact, UMB Healthcare Services recently reached 600,000 accounts and $1 billion in assets and deposits for HSAs.

So what is an HSA?

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To be eligible for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a qualified High Deductible Health Plan.  An HSA is a savings and investment tool for current or future qualified medical expenses. HSA deposits and earnings grow tax-free,1 and your withdrawals are tax-free as long as you spend the money to pay for eligible medical expenses. Deposits into your account up to the annual contribution limits and any interest on those deposits are not taxed. At the end of the year, the money you have saved rolls over and continues to do so throughout the duration of your HSA’s life. Many companies will also contribute to or match your HSA funds to a certain amount; free money for your medical expenses. You can find out even more about HSAs here.

Another type of account to consider, if it is offered by your employer, is a flexible spending account (FSA).

A FSA is also a tax-advantaged savings account. You can set aside funds each year to cover qualified medical costs throughout that year. Some companies will even contribute to your FSA. The big difference between an HSA and an FSA is that the funds you put into an FSA have to be used by a certain date or the money is forfeited. Learn more about FSAs here and take a look at our chart that compares three types of consumer directed health care.

Comparison of Consumer Directed Healthcare

 

1All mention of taxes is made in reference to federal tax law. States can choose to follow the federal tax-treatment guidelines for HSAs or establish their own; some states tax HSA contributions. Please check with your state’s tax laws to determine the tax treatment of HSA contributions, or consult your tax adviser. Neither UMB Bank n.a., its parent, subsidiaries nor affiliates are engaged in rendering tax advice.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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