March 2015 Posts

  • 10 Things to Ask Your Accountant: Small Biz Webinar

    Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hill recently reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of investing or gifting your tax refund, tax issues when settling an estate, and ways to protect yourself from tax preparer fraud. As the tax season filing deadline fast approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a community service through a webinar. Tomorrow...
  • Downsides of Do-It-Yourself Powers of Attorney

    Powers of attorney are powerful documents that grant another individual broad rights over medical and financial decisions. Such an important power should involve careful planning. Ready-made legal forms found online, software programs with legal templates, and other DIY solutions are attractive to many individuals due to the ease of access and low cost. ...
  • Beneficiary Designation Reminder

    Beneficiary designation forms are an important way for account and asset owners to ensure the respective assets pass to the individuals of their choosing. Mistakes with beneficiary designations could result in serious loss – the testator’s wishes might not be carried out, surviving family might lose assets, and lengthy and costly probate might result. (Individuals...
  • Creditor Claims Against Decedents in North Carolina

    One of the many responsibilities executors have is ensuring that the decedent’s debts are satisfied. Creditor claims against estates in North Carolina generally fall into categories of priority. The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts provides the Order of Priority of Claims in Estate Procedures: Property liens up to the amount of the property...
  • Invest or Gift This Year’s Tax Refunds?

    During tax season, filers try to maximize their deductions. Proper tax planning helps minimize tax due, and could result in a sizable refund. Taxpayers who receive refunds can spend them however they choose, but what strategy offers the most benefits? Tax refunds might be spent frivolously or sensibly. Using the money toward a vacation could ...
  • Inherited IRA Distributions Might Face Changes

    Inherited Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) experienced a see-saw effect with bankruptcy for years. Last year the federal government ruled that IRAs are not protected from federal bankruptcy claims. A year prior in 2013, North Carolina lawmakers passed Senate Bill 279, which protects inherited IRAs from state bankruptcy claims. Complications surface for North Carolina residents owning...
  • Tax Issues to Consider When Settling an Estate

    During the first quarter of the year, the only tax items most taxpayers are concerned with are their own personal and business returns. However, settling an estate involves tax matters that need to be resolved before the estate is closed. ...
  • Vulnerability for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

    A recent court case involving a Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) revealed a possible threat to the protections provided by these powerful asset preservation tools. DAPTsgenerally are used when enhanced creditor protections are desired. Some jurisdictions also provide tax benefits for DAPTs....