The In-Service Alternative Rollover: Protecting The Value Of Your 401(k)

Remember your parents and grandparents’ pensions?  What if you could have some of the same benefits that they enjoyed from their pension, with your 401(k) dollars?

Pensions gave an identifiable, calculable benefit.  Typically, pensions were based on age and years of service, multiplied by an average salary.  Unlike today’s retirement plans, the benefits of pensions were not directly dependent on the stock market.  Retirement today is vastly different.

About 30 years ago, employers began shifting from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans.  The main reason: cost.  You see, the employer was responsible for guaranteeing pension benefits to employees. Your father and grandfather (or grandmother) contributed nothing.  If the stock market crashed, then the employee did not care, at least not as far as his or her retirement was concerned.  The reason: pension plans were not tied to the markets.

With a 401(k) plan, employers require employees to provide the contributions.  In some cases, employers will match a certain amount of what you contribute.  But that is the catch – the employee has to pay for it.  And that’s not all!  With a 401(k) plan, who bears the risk of a market decline: the employee.  A falling market could at best delay your planned retirement.  And a market decline after you retire could severely impact your standard of living.

At Zwick Law, in coordination with a financial professional who is experienced with the process known as an In-Service Alternative Rollover (ISAR), we may have the answer.  We may be able to restore some of the traditional pension-like benefits that your parents and grandparents enjoyed.  Benefits such as guaranteed, knowable monthly income, regardless of market performance.  That means, with our assistance — and the guidance of an ISAR-experienced financial planner — you can:

  • know for certain what you can depend on in retirement;
  • take comfort in guaranteed, continued payments to a spouse, if elected;
  • eliminate (or at least reduce) market worries – while a rising market may benefit you, a falling market does not impact the guarantees; and
  • obtain peace of mind before and during your retirement.

The In-Service Alternative Rollover (ISAR) is a legal process that, with the help of an ISAR-experienced financial professional, may protect your 401(k) benefits. To learn more about the ISAR process and whether it may be right for you, contact Attorney C.J. Zwick for more details.

Zwick Law is a full-service law firm with offices in DuBois and Brookville, Pennsylvania.  The attorneys at Zwick Law routinely represent corporations, associations, municipalities and individuals across Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  Find out more about Zwick Law by visiting

Common Complaints Made Against the Executor of an Estate

The role of the executor of an estate is one of complete trust and supreme responsibility.  Whomever you choose to serve in this capacity will oversee your final wishes to ensure that the terms outlined in your estate plan are followed. In theory, the person who is the executor of your estate will have few problems with your beneficiaries. In reality, however, it is not unusual for your executor to be at odd with your heirs for a variety of reasons. Being aware of common complaints made against an executor will help you when the time comes to choose someone for that role and help that person prepare to manage your estate.

Conflict of Interest

A person with a small estate and limited beneficiaries will often name a person to execute his or her will, and that person also is commonly named as a beneficiary.  Typically, that is not an issue and the other heirs will understand that being named in a will does not automatically mean that you will not be a fair executor. There are times when an executor has abused that position of trust and your other heirs may grow concerned, if they believe that your executor is focusing on his or her own best interest at the expense of their interests and those of the estate.  Lack of trust may lead to claims of a conflict of interest, in an effort to disqualify your executor from continuing to operate in that capacity.

Mismanaging Funds of Estate

The assets of an estate must be managed properly during the probate process.  Securing all assets is one of the most important roles of the position and is vital if the estate has many assets or outstanding debts.  Transactions must be recorded throughout the process of paying debts, filing tax returns, and distributing bequests using the funds or property available.  Sometimes, heirs will believe that the executor is not properly managing the assets of the estate and may file a complaint out of concern for the security of what they expect to inherit.  While an executor is compensated for his or her time, the amount of compensation may seem nominal in comparison to the value of the estate, leading to unease from heirs who believe the executor will find other ways to be compensated.

Lack of Communication

One of the most time-consuming aspects of serving as an executor is communicating with everyone associated with the estate.  Contacting creditors, keeping the courts informed, and talking to the beneficiaries is not always easy.  Unfortunately, some beneficiaries may not be satisfied with the level of communication they are receiving from an executor.  If they believe that they have not been contacted on a regular basis regarding the status of the estate, then they may initiate a complaint or attempt to get your executor removed.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney a Zwick Law

Choosing an executor is just one of the many things that you must do in order to secure your legacy for your loved ones.  A qualified estate attorney at Zwick Law can guide you through the entire process, and help you decide who is best suited to manage your estate while seeing to your final wishes.  The attorneys at Zwick Law are here to provide you with the legal advice and peace of mind that you need and deserve.  Contact us today at 814-371-6400 to schedule an initial consultation at our DuBois or Brookville offices.[1]

[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.