The Secure Act and Its Potential Income Tax Effect on Clients’ Estate Planning – Seven Important Opportunities

Authored by: Stephen R. Elville, Esq. — Elville and Associates, P.C. — 443-393-7696,

An unprecedented situation is underway – the Secure Act may impact estate planning in a significant way – in particular, estate planning for retirement plan assets. The Secure Act (House of Representatives’ version – the 10-year plan) recently passed through the House by way of a 471-3 vote. The Senate is proposing a 5-year plan. Although it is unclear which plan will go forward, it is anticipated that one of the two plans will pass in both the House and the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump in August (2019). If this comes to pass, the new law would go into effect for decedents dying after December 31, 2019 (effective in 2020).
Why is the Secure Act important and what should you know?

The Secure Act will directly impact the length of time IRAs and Qualified Plans can defer income tax and be stretched. Unlike the current law allowing inherited IRAs to be stretched out in accordance with IRS life expectancy rules, the Secure Act would limit the stretch out of IRAs to either 5 or 10 years, with some exceptions. The Act also applies to Roth IRAs. The Secure Act is potentially terrible for some people, especially those who will have their estate plans disrupted and lifelong plans to leave children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or others retirement plan assets over the beneficiary’s individual life expectancies thwarted. Fortunately, there are several strategies to deal with the potential impact of the Secure Act, and over the coming weeks and months we at Elville and Associates will be discussing this potential legislation with our clients and helping them make sense of the changes that are likely to come, and advising them about any needed planning adjustments. If you would like to speak with me or another attorney at Elville and Associates about this unprecedented situation, please contact Mary Guay Kramer at 443-393-7696 or via email at You may also send an email to me at For an in-person meeting, please also contact Mary Guay Kramer and a meeting will be scheduled at your convenience.

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