Will doing your own estate plan cost heirs?

By: Liz Weston

Estate planning mistakes can be expensive to fix — that is, when they can be fixed at all. That’s the thought that haunts New York attorney Mari Galvin, whether she’s creating an estate plan for a client or confronting the aftermath when people didn’t properly plan. “People think, ‘Oh, I have a simple life,’ but you have to understand (that if) you make a mistake and you ... READ MORE

Reporting a tax-free transfer from your IRA to charity

By: Kimberly Lankford

Question: I have to take a $20,000 required minimum distribution from my Vanguard IRA this year. I’d like to give $5,000 tax-free to a charity and withdraw the remaining $15,000 for myself. A Vanguard rep said it would send me a check for $15,000 payable to me as well as a $5,000 check made payable to the charity that I could forward. The rep said that at the end of the year it would... READ MORE