My Benefit Pro
Owner and Investment Advisor Representative
Cesar De La Cerda is a Investment Advisor Representative employed by My Benefit Pro in Houston, Texas. My Benefit Pro is an insurance and financial services firm located in Houston, Texas. The professional staff is owner and Investment Adviser Representative, Cesar, who has over 15 years industry experience. He served in the United States Navy as a corpsman and is a graduate of the University of Houston where he focused his studies on economics and finance. He has a passion for helping others and educating individuals, families and businesses for success!
Cesar works with individuals and business owners in the Texas area to identify risk and provide solutions to meet those specific needs. Individuals and businesses alike can be at different stages in their life phase and require different necessities at different times. He helps identify risk through a discovery process that helps prioritize essentials and helps to keep clients on track for financial independence. He hasn’t forgotten about lifestyle, after all that is why individuals and business owners do what they do.
Cesar believes the importance of financial independence provides us time to enjoy with our families, friends, community and business partners. His discovery process is designed with a goals based approach to help clients stay on track to maintain a balanced approach.
BS, Economics, University of Houston
BBA, Accounting and Finance, University of Houston-Downtown
Estate Planning can be one of the most important considerations for a family to plan for, particularly when it can synchronize assets with intended legal requests. The simple answer is that the Trust and a Will have different functions and are recognized differently. Case in point, a Trust has a trustor and a trustee versus a Will has a testor and executor. Additionally, there can be supporting documents that can make an Estate Plan more cohesive, such as Powers of Attorney and Living Directives. In my experience, a Last Will and Testament would have the Trust as the beneficiary; the Will gives everything to the Trust, for the purpose of not having to probate. In this case, how is this Will created by the husband in sync with the Trust originally created? These documents should be evaluated by an attorney that specializes in these matters and is up to date with any changes a state may have made.
I advise my clients to review assets and update changes with an attorney at least every 2 years. When dealing with a community state, an attorney that specializes should be consulted. Where this area affects assets, is where a Financial Advisor or financial institution can assist to ensure proper registration and administration. Registration and administration can affect real estate, business holdings, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and bank accounts to name a few. If the husband made changes that limits or removes powers, this could affect how assets are controlled or who is beneficiary. This should be reviewed by an attorney so there are no surprises and result in additional costs to address later.
Thank you for your question regarding life insurance for a dependent from another marriage. The answer isn’t so simple, but the solution could be easier and more efficient if addressed early.
First, there are some complicated concerns which pertain into legal aspects of divorce decree and the expectations. You should involve an attorney in your state of Colorado that understands the proper structure. An attorney can help with estate planning documents that give specific instructions as to how assets are to be handled. Not having a plan defaults to the state and its specific laws. Generally, life insurance proceeds are paid directly to the beneficiaries and can avoid probate. However, some state laws could limit this like in the case of a community state, which Colorado isn’t. So my first question would be if the child is in Colorado or in another state, specifically a community state.
The ex-wife could have a claim, but if the new policy isn’t structured properly due to state laws, benefits could default to the child and if a minor, proceeds could be held until the minor turns 18. My first suggestion would be to call the insurance carrier claims and legal department. This would cost you $0.00 to find out how the claim would be processed. My second suggestion would be to have an attorney draw up estate documents outlining how assets are to be handled. This is particularly important if you have children together and if you brought children from another marriage to the party.
I hope this helps and if you have additional questions please repost.
It is great that you are giving retirement savings some thought. For the first part of your question, time and consistency are the most important. You will need time on your side to maximize accumulation. If you are in you early years (20’s to early 30’s), saving a small amount can go a long way versus being middle aged (40’s+) and not have saved consistently. For the second part of your question, in terms of magical or dependable, it depends on several considerations. One of those considerations, for example, is what you have access to such as an employer sponsored plan that has matching contributions. This can be magical, hypothetically speaking, due to more money working for you. For the dependable part, that has all to do with you. Maybe you don’t have access to an employer sponsored plan, but you could make contributions to an IRA or Roth IRA. Also, if you have a spouse who doesn’t have access to a retirement plan, then you could set up contributions for a spousal IRA.
In terms of investment in properties, all investments involve risk. The first risks that come to mind with properties is liquidity and costs to maintain. However, it could make up a portion of your portfolio.
Lastly, the best way to maximize and protect your retirement is to diversify. Work with an advisor that can help you construct your retirement plan that fits your goals and objects for both the short-term and long-term.
IRA’s have different registration types and the SIMPLE IRA and the Traditional IRA are 2 of the many option types. While both are a qualified retirement account type, each has unique features. Let me explain the difference, in terms of set up, access contribution limits and benefits of each.
Most individuals have access to a Traditional IRA as this type of account can be set up very easily. This type of account can be opened and set up through a retail brokerage account directly through an investment company or broker-dealer or custodian. While many people think your local bank handles this type of account, it would only be able to use fixed assets types, such as certificates of deposit “CD’s”. The contributions can purchase mutual funds, stocks, exchange-traded funds and other investment options, which can be limited to a certain number of investment options available. The benefit of this account type gives you control of the choice of investment options and frequency that you contribute. The contributions could be tax deductible subject to the IRS contributions limits and requirements if allowable.
A SIMPLE IRA is an account registration type that must be formed by a business and it allows employees to participate in the program. This type of retirement account is a very cost-effective retirement plan versus a 401(k) for small businesses, i.e., businesses with 20 – 50 employees. Like the Traditional IRA, it can be set up through many providers and has similar availability of investment options. A business owner would have to contribute to the employees account subject to the IRS contributions limits and requirements. The benefit to this type of account is that the contribution limits are higher for those participating versus a Traditional IRA, which can help maximize achieving retirement readiness. Lastly, the main benefit would be access to contributions being pre-tax in the SIMPLE IRA.
There are other considerations in determining which could be the best fit and working with an adviser can help narrow down the options.
Thank you for your question. My condolences if you have personally been affected.
A company can provide some benefits to surviving dependents. However, the benefit could be limited to their resources and there could be possible consequences if not structured right. When people are in need of money, they tend to count on those they know with more. It isn’t unusual for surviving dependents to ask for help from family, friends or an employer. An employer might feel obligated and extend some assistance, for example, helping with funeral expenses. The issue for a company rises when another employee needs assistance, but perhaps wasn’t as valuable or liked, and doesn’t help this employee or dependents. This could be a potential legal issue, in terms of discrimination. Discrimination is a legal issue and out of my scope.
The way I help employers, particularly small business owners, is by suggesting they offer a small group life insurance policy with a benefit in the range of $15,000 to $25,000. The cost could be the equivalent of $0.10 per hour in additional costs per employee. Also, they could offer a voluntary life insurance policy that can be payroll deducted. With this method, an employer at least offers access to life insurance or disability insurance.
I hope this helps and post again with additional questions.