General

Online Legal Documents are Deficient

Posted on: September 20th, 2012
A recent article in Consumers Reports featured a blind test of online legal documents by three law school professors. Their conclusion:...

LegalZoom Files Suit Against NC State Bar

Posted on: October 6th, 2011
The online legal forms provider LegalZoom.com recently filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina State Bar in Wake County Superior Court, requesting that a judge rule that the company is entitled to sell standard legal forms on its website and be allowed to register in North Carolina to sell prepaid legal services. See this article on the Raleigh News and Observer website....

IRS Offers Tips for Protecting Documents from Disaster

Posted on: May 27th, 2011
Here in North Carolina we know all to well that disasters can strike at any time. In this YouTube video, the IRS provides guidance for protecting tax and other important documents from natural disasters. ...

Organ Donation in North Carolina

Posted on: January 20th, 2011
Do you want to be an organ donor? Do you know how to become one? There are three ways to become a donor: 1. Request that a heart be placed on your driver’s license at the DMV. ...

No more “Do-Over” Strategy for Social Security Retirement Benefits

Posted on: January 14th, 2011
On December 8, 2010, the Social Security Administration published a new rule eliminating the “do-over” strategy some retirees were using to boost their retirement benefits. The new rule went into effect immediately....

Is LegalZoom Selling Your Personal Information?

Posted on: September 27th, 2010
The Attorney General of Washington instituted an investigation of LegalZoom for the unauthorized practice of law and the release of personal and financial information of customers to third parties, resulting in LegalZoom entering into this Assurance of Discontinuance. Check out this article on the topic....

Gregory Herman-Giddens, JD, LLM, TEP, CFP

Posted on: July 4th, 2010
Specializing in Wealth Planning, Protection and Management, Gregory Herman-Giddens, JD, LLM, TEP, CFP and the team at TrustCounsel have the knowledge and experience to help you develop an estate plan carefully designed to protect your family, preserve your assets, and save taxes....

Kristin L. Burrows

Posted on: July 1st, 2010
Kristin L. Burrows focuses her practice on helping the aged and disabled and their families. This area of law is known as Elder Law, and it is unique in that it draws from many areas of the law to serve a particular type of client – seniors....

Thomas J. Neagle, JD

Posted on: June 28th, 2010
Thomas J. Neagle is Of Counsel with TrustCounsel. PRACTICE AREAS: Estate Planning and Probate Law; Guardianship Law; Trust Administration Law; Probate Litigation; Corporate Law; Contract Law; Intellectual Property and Technology Law....

Family of NC Man Wrongly Declared Dead Sues Medical Examiner

Posted on: November 24th, 2009
Sounds like a nightmare, but it’s true. After an auto accident, Larry Green was put into a body bag and refrigerated. The medical examiner dismissed paramedics’ claims of signs of life from Green’s "body."...

Don’t Expect COLA Increases in Your Social Security Payments

Posted on: August 26th, 2009
According to the Social Security fund trustees, cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in Social Security payments are unlikely in 2010 and 2011. COLAs are linked in to inflation, which has been negative in 2009, primarily due to lower energy costs. ...

Diposition of Cremated Remains in NC

Posted on: June 16th, 2009
Cremation is an increasing common way of handling human remains. While cremated remains are sometimes buried, there is often a desire on the part of family members (or a request from the deceased) to scatter the ashes somewhere....

Saying a Final Goodbye to a Friend

Posted on: April 22nd, 2009
This posting is not about estate planning per se, but rather death, which everyone must contemplate in the course of planning his or her estate....

NC Had 7th Highest Unemployment in U.S. in December

Posted on: February 12th, 2009
I had no idea North Carolina was so bad off until I saw the statistics put out by the Bureau of Labor Standards. ...

NC Estate Planning Blog to be Syndicated

Posted on: January 21st, 2009
​I am pleased to announce that the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog will be nationally syndicated by Newstex, a blog aggregation company. ...

Something Smells Phishy – Fake IRS Refund Emails

Posted on: October 29th, 2008
I just received an email with the following text (albiet in my spam filter). After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code....

Just for Laughs – an Estate Planning Joke!

Posted on: August 25th, 2008
I’ve seen this joke around a couple of times, and thought I would bring a little levity to the site by publishing it – don’t know who came up with it....

Burke County, NC One of America’s Fastest-Aging Counties

Posted on: August 17th, 2008
Burke County, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the fastest-aging counties in the country, according a recent article in Forbes. ...

Phishing for Probate

Posted on: July 28th, 2008
Today I received an email message that reads as follows: Good Day, My name is Sarah Brown. I work as an executive partner for the firm Mayer Brown Watford...

For Baby Boomers Only

Posted on: January 24th, 2008
This is a big departure from my normally somewhat "dry" postings, but as a baby boomer myself, I found this animated short quite funny and wanted to share it. Enjoy!...

North Carolina's Wealthiest ZIP Codes

Posted on: January 13th, 2008
According to ESRI, most of North Carolina’s wealthy live in the Charlotte area, but the Triangle boasts eight of the top 25 wealthiest ZIP codes in NC. ...

Warning – This email is not from the IRS

Posted on: June 24th, 2007
Today I received the following email, which is clearly fraudulent. If you get such an email, DO NOT RESPOND unless you like having money stolen from your bank account:...

U.S. Trust to be bought by Bank of America

Posted on: November 22nd, 2006
​Charles Schwab Corporation is selling U.S. Trust Company, which was bought in 2000, to Bank of America for $3.3 billion in cash. ...

North Carolina – a Mediocre Place to Die

Posted on: October 10th, 2006
​Based on a number of factors, such as health care and estate taxes, an article in Forbes ranks North Carolina squarely in the middle of the pack in a listing of the best states in which to die....