Retirement benefits are not simple. A myriad of questions need to be answered. What types of plans are available? Which one would best fit my individual needs and objectives? What about Social Security benefits? How will taxes come into play? Ultimately, these all come into play in answering the big question: How should I start planning for retirement?

With the wide variety of plans available and the numerous laws in place to regulate them, it can be difficult to know how to begin. As part of our estate planning services, Hart & David will aid you with retirement benefit planning by providing the legal advising, document drafting, and representation you need throughout the process.

Types of Plans and Considerations

The process of retirement planning includes many financial aspects as well as lifestyle and locational decisions. The financial side of your retirement benefits planning is heavily regulated by federal and state law, so it is crucial to get proven legal expertise involved. At Hart & David, we can help you with the process of protecting and securing your retirement benefits, including:

  • 401(k) plans
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRA’s)
  • Profit sharing plans
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP’s)
  • Deferred compensation
  • Pension plans

Drafting the proper documentation and trusts, representing you during audits, and handling tax planning are all services we provide to our clients. As part of your estate plan, your retirement benefits planning should be well coordinated with the transfers, trust structures, and assets involved. This way, you maximize benefits while achieving optimum tax efficiency.

ERISA and Other Regulations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets forth federal regulations on how retirement and health plans should operate. Specifically, it outlines standards on eligibility, contributions, accrual of benefits, and payout. The individual standards that apply depend on the type of benefits plan, so thorough understanding of federal regulations is key to forming a plan that works well within your overall estate plan.

Other regulations that may come into play during retirement benefits planning include those governing the transfer of assets, the formation of trusts, and numerous tax laws. For example, transferring a retirement account into a living trust can be effective, but only if certain legal considerations are taken into account.

Working with the effects that ERISA and other regulations have on your individual benefits plan is a matter requiring legal expertise. Hart & David offers that expertise to clients throughout the Chicago-Metro area.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Again, setting up a retirement plan that offers you the income and benefits you need is not a simple matter. Not only do you want to provide for your needs, you also need to keep it consistent with the goals of your overall estate plan. Also, there are a number of tax benefits available for retirement plans, so implementing a plan that will afford you the right ones for your situation is highly important.

Throughout the retirement benefits planning process, Hart & David will be there every step of the way. Our attorneys can help you determine your options, structure plans, draft documents, and provide a variety of other valuable legal services to help you prepare for retirement. For a free consultation, contact us.