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March 2019

March 2019 Q and A

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I have a life insurance policy that names my son as beneficiary. Do I also need to include this policy in my will?

It wouldn’t hurt anything, but no you don’t. That’s because life insurance beneficiary designations take priority over terms of a will, even if they differ. In fact, the same holds true for the beneficiary designations of retirement plans and annuities. This is a good time to remind you that you should keep all your beneficiary and contingent beneficiary designations up to date. If you’re interested in your beneficiaries getting the most from the benefit without triggering estate taxes or you want to avoid the public glare of probate, you might consider putting the life insurance policy in a trust.

My wife and I had investment losses in 2018 and would like to deduct them on my tax return. How much am I allowed to deduct for last year and going forward?

When your capital losses exceed capital gains, you can deduct the difference as a loss, up to $3,000 per year, or $1,500 if married and filing separate returns. You may also carry over excess losses to the next tax year. Remember that long-term capital gains or losses are those on investments owned for more than one year.


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