Right now may be the best time in a generation for significant family wealth transfers. The combination of a difficult recession, a low interest rate environment, the very real probability of future legislative change, and perhaps most importantly, a deep need for shared family wealth has created a perfect opportunity for families to transfer significant wealth.
After more than two months of being in lockdown due to the coronavirus, states across the country are slowly starting to reopen (see NYT's interactive map). With restrictions lifting, many businesses are itching to return to physical workspaces. But with federal, state, and local safety guidelines to contend with, resuming “business as usual” is just not possible (at least for the foreseeable future).
One year ago this week, the House passed the SECURE Act with 417 yeas and 3 nays. Although this bill, Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, H.R. 1994, 116th Cong. (2019), had overwhelming bipartisan support, it languished in the Senate. Estate planning attorneys, financial planners, and industry experts watched the bill for the rest of 2019 with particular interest, in large part because of a provision in Title IV of the bill that proposed modifying the required minimum distribution rules for qualified retirement accounts by eliminating the “stretch” for all beneficiaries except those qualifying as “eligible designated beneficiaries.” By December 2019, it seemed that the SECURE Act bill was going to die with the year. However, in a last-minute move, the SECURE Act was attached to the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (FCAA) of 2020, H.R. 1865, 116th Cong. (2020), in a slightly modified form. This version of the SECURE Act, which Congress passed in mid-December, was signed into law on December 20, 2019, with an effective date of January 1, 2020, for most of its provisions.