Maximize your 401(k) plan to save for retirement

Contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan can help you reduce taxes and save for retirement. If your employer offers a 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plan, contributing to it is a smart way to build a substantial sum of money.

If you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed, consider increasing your contribution rate.

Steer clear of the wash sale rule if you’re selling stock by year end

Are you thinking about selling stock shares at a loss to offset gains that you’ve realized during 2020? If so, it’s important not to run afoul of the “wash sale” rule.

IRS may disallow the loss

Under this rule, if you sell stock or securities for a loss and buy substantially identical stock or securities back within the 30-day period before or after the sale date, the loss can’t be claimed for tax purposes.

Name the right person as executor to help ensure your planning objectives are carried through

The executor’s role is critical to the administration of your estate and the achievement of your estate planning objectives. So your first instinct may be to name a trusted family member as executor. But that might not be the best choice.

Duties of an executor

Your executor will have a variety of important duties, including:

Arranging for probate of your will (if necessary) and obtaining court approval to administer your estate,
Taking inventory of — and collecting, recovering or maintaining — your assets, including life insurance proceeds and retirement plan benefits,
Obtaining valuations of your assets if necessary,
Preparing a schedule of assets and liabilities,
Arranging for the safekeeping of personal property,
Contacting your beneficiaries to advise them of their entitlements under your will,
Paying any debts incurred by you or your estate and handling creditors’ claims,
Defending your will in the event of litigation,
Filing tax returns on behalf of your estate, and
Distributing your assets among your beneficiaries according to the terms of your will.

Divorcing couples should understand these 4 tax issues

When a couple is going through a divorce, taxes are probably not foremost in their minds. But without proper planning and advice, some people find divorce to be an even more taxing experience. Several tax concerns need to be addressed to ensure that taxes are kept to a minimum and that important tax-related decisions are properly made.