- Advance Directives
- Asset Protection
- Business Succession
- Charitable Gift Planning
- Elder Care
- Estate Planning
- Estate Tax
- Financial Planning
- Fraud & Financial Abuse
- Gift Tax
- Health Care
- Income Tax
- Life Insurance
- Living Trusts
- NC Income Tax
- North Carolina Department of Revenue
- Nursing Homes
- Pending Legislation
- Powers of Attorney
- Qualified Plans
- Real Property
- Social Security
- Special Needs Planning
- Tax Fraud
Posted on: February 20th, 2018
Trusts may be customized to suit the grantor’s wishes, which may include their determination of what’s best for their beneficiaries....
North Carolina Places 15th Again for Trust Decanting in 2017
Posted on: February 10th, 2017
Once again, North Carolina holds steady at #15 out of twenty-five states with provisions for decanting. The collective includes two additional states that adopted legislation for decanting over the past year. The 2017 Trust Decanting State Rankings Chart shows South Dakota and Nevada remain top jurisdictions for decanting. ...
Why North Carolina Trustees Should Acquire Liability Insurance
Posted on: January 25th, 2017
Without liability insurance, trustees remain personally accountable for trust administration mistakes. Certain insurance policies help to manage trustee liability. These errors and omissions insurance policies for trustees provide coverage in the event that claims, lawsuits, or damages occur as a result of the trustee’s actions or inaction....
NCBA Symposium: Gun Trusts in Elder and Special Needs Law
Posted on: January 23rd, 2017
TrustCounsel's principal attorney Gregory Herman-Giddens presents Gun Trusts in Elder and Special Needs Law at the North Carolina Bar Association Annual Symposium in Pinehurst this February....
Updating Revocable Trusts in North Carolina
Posted on: September 29th, 2016
Updates to one’s revocable trust may be made by an amendment or a complete restatement. An amendment updates a specific part of the trust, while a restatement updates the entire trust. ...
How to Fix an Irrevocable Trust That Doesn’t Stand the Test of Time
Posted on: June 30th, 2016
Trusts typically are structured to provide for the best interests of the beneficiaries. The settlor may have had the best intentions when establishing the trust, but a trust created by a great-grandparent more than seven decades ago for the benefit of their great-grandchild might include provisions that prove impractical or unviable when it comes time to administer the trust for the great-grandchild’s benefit. Is there a way to remedy an outdated irrevocable trust? Under certain circumstances, yes....
Terminating a Trust in North Carolina
Posted on: June 13th, 2016
Revocable and irrevocable trusts follow unique termination procedures. Although their name implies they cannot be changed, irrevocable trusts may be modified in certain circumstances. The circumstances surrounding a trust termination, and the type of trust, help to determine how a trustee may handle termination....
Types of Trust Beneficiaries
Posted on: June 10th, 2016
Primary, contingent and remainder trust beneficiaries have different rights as beneficiaries. Who has the right to bring a claim against the trustee of a revocable living trust?...
Rights of Trust Beneficiaries
Posted on: June 7th, 2016
Trust beneficiaries have legal rights detailed in the trust documents and governed by state and federal trust code. If problems have resulted from a negligent trustee, or the trustee fails to adequately address issues brought to his or her attention by the beneficiary, it might be time for the beneficiary to reach out to a trust attorney and, potentially, the courts for corrective action....
Free Gun Trust Seminar on April 4th in Chapel Hill
Posted on: March 17th, 2016
TrustCounsel's Chapel Hill gun trust attorney Greg Herman-Giddens leads a free seminar about ATF 41F on April 4th....
North Carolina Ranks 15th For Trust Decanting in 2016
Posted on: February 15th, 2016
Trust decanting is a process that allows assets of a trust to be distributed to another trust with different terms; generally the newer trust offers terms that better satisfy the needs of the beneficiary. Some states impose burdensome administration requirements for trust decanting, while others offer easier means of use....
Problems With Old Trusts
Posted on: November 21st, 2015
Even if one’s goals were accomplished when a trust was initially created years ago, those goals might not align with current tax legislation and, sometimes, could result in overly complicated trust administration....
3 Things to Consider When Creating a Pet Trust in North Carolina
Posted on: July 31st, 2015
Americans love their pets and often feel connected to their animals as part of a family unit. How can the well-being of a pet be ensured if a pet owner dies?...
3 Reasons to Choose a Non-Family Trustee
Posted on: May 25th, 2015
Creating a trust generally involves the intention of preserving assets for loved ones. Benefiting from a trust’s preservation might not be possible if the trust is not maintained properly. ...
Increasing Trust Income Distributions
Posted on: August 19th, 2014
Many trusts provide for lifetime income, but no principal, to the first generation of beneficiaries. In these days of low interest rates, income payments have suffered. However, income distributions from trusts do not have to be permanently affected by low interest rates. ...
When Beneficiary Designations are Void
Posted on: July 23rd, 2014
As a general rule, beneficiary designations supersede instructions for transferring assets that may appear in a Will. This is one of the reasons why regular reviews of one’s estate plan are critical. ...
Supplemental Needs Trusts: Critical Trustee Duty
Posted on: July 1st, 2014
A supplemental needs trust is funded with third party assets for the benefit of a disabled individual. (Special needs trusts are funded with the disabled person’s assets.) Both of these trusts help preserve a disabled person’s assets and their eligibility for certain public benefits programs. ...
How to Change an Irrevocable Trust
Posted on: April 30th, 2014
Irrevocable trusts have historically been viewed as just that: Irrevocable. However, with advances in state law and drafting techniques, there are now a few ways to amend the terms of an irrevocable trust....
Cost to Consider When Funding Pet Trusts: Pet Hospice
Posted on: January 4th, 2014
Pet trusts offer animal owners a way to preserve assets for their pets’ benefit once the owners themselves pass away. In addition to designating a care provider, these estate planning tools help cover the costs for pet healthcare, food, living expenses, and basic enjoyment of life. A new trend is developing that pet owners should consider when deciding how much money to leave for their non-human family members: Pet hospice....
3 Mistakes in Pet Trusts
Posted on: November 27th, 2013
Pet trusts offer legal instructions for the continuing care of pets—including dogs, cats, horses, and exotics—after the pet owner passes away. Animal owners may try to make their own arrangements for pet care, but without learning about how pet trusts are created and administered under North Carolina law, their wishes may not be carried out. Do-it-yourself pet trusts may not fully ensure an individual’s instructions for pet care are legally enforced. ...
Dissolving a Trust in North Carolina
Posted on: October 23rd, 2013
A year ago the nation waited for the government’s announcement about the estate tax exemption for 2013. A large number of American taxpayers established and funded irrevocable trusts just in case the federal estate tax exemption dropped to $1 million. ...
Trust Protectors in North Carolina Trusts
Posted on: October 29th, 2012
North Carolina recently expanded its law regarding trust "power holders," persons named in a trust, other than trustee, who are given certain powers over the trust and/or trustee. ...
Ranking Domestic Asset Protection Trust States
Posted on: March 14th, 2012
Las Vegas asset protection guru Steve Oshins has updated his Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) State Ranking Chart. ...
Wealth Transfer Opportunities Targeted
Posted on: February 14th, 2012
Wealthy folks looking to transfer assets to younger generations in tax-advantaged ways should act now, as the Obama administration is seeking to limit several favorite techniques of estate planning attorneys. ...
NFA Gun Trusts in North Carolina
Posted on: April 25th, 2011
North Carolina residents who want to own certain weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act should consider the advantages of an NFA Gun Trust specifically designed for use in North Carolina. From NorthCarolinaGunTrustLawyer.com:...
Domestic Asset Protection Trusts – What State is Best?
Posted on: January 11th, 2011
A dozen states now offer what are called Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPTs), which allow a trust grantor to shelter trust assets from creditors while retaining the right to distributions from the trust. ...
Retirement Accounts and Estate Tax Planning
Posted on: August 25th, 2010
Successful estate planning generally involves passing on your assets to your heirs at a low tax cost. To help achieve that goal, there are a few things to keep in mind about retirement accounts....
What Will Happen to Your Retirement Accounts After You Are Gone?
Posted on: August 2nd, 2010
When Trusts Meet Retirement Accounts, a recent article on WSJ.com, explains the benefits of using a trust to pass on IRAs and other retirement accounts to children. ...
New Rules Will Affect Certain Self-Settled and Pooled Special Needs Trusts
Posted on: July 8th, 2010
A New Social Security Program Operations Manual System (“POMS”) Section Regarding Early Trust Termination Provisions for "Self-Settled" Special Needs and Pooled Trusts is set forth below. This will not affect SNTs established with the assets of a third party, such as a parent....
Better GRAT While You Still Can
Posted on: June 23rd, 2010
On June 15, 2010, the House of Representatives passed The Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010 (the "Act") which, if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, will significantly limit the utility of Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)....
North Carolina’s Repeal of the Rule Against Perpetuities Upheld
Posted on: February 12th, 2010
In a decision dated February 2, 2010, the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the Superior Court Judge’s 2009 decision in Brown Brothers Harriman Trust v. Anne P. Benson, et al....
IRS Issues Guidance for 2010 Gifts to Trusts
Posted on: February 3rd, 2010
Based on what appeared to be a giant "loophole" in the gift tax law applying to gifts made in 2010, taxpayers could arguably make gifts to a wholly-owned grantor trust free from gift tax. ...
Posted on: November 13th, 2009
Effective October 1, 2009, Trustees of North Carolina trusts can, subject to certain requirements, appoint the trust property to another trust for the same beneficiary. ...
NFA (Gun) Trusts Provide Many Advantages
Posted on: November 5th, 2009
This posting is courtesy of my colleague David Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida, who has created a special trust for owning weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA)....
Offshore Trust Cases – Trading Jail for Protection?
Posted on: May 29th, 2009
Offshore trusts continue to be an effective asset protection tool, including in bankruptcy, tax litigation, and divorce situations, even when the facts are not favorable to the trust grantor. ...
NC’s Repeal of Rule Against Perpetuities Upheld
Posted on: May 8th, 2009
I previously blogged about NC’s repeal of the Rule Against Perpetuities, which limited the amount of time a trust could stay in existence, and some questions that existed regarding the repeal’s validity....
Posted on: July 11th, 2008
Separate Retirement Plan Trust is the Best Choice I generally recommend that persons with IRA or qualified plan assets of at least $200,000 should consider a Standalone IRA/Retirement Plan Trust. ...
Protect Your Ancestors’ Legacy with an Inheritor’s Trust
Posted on: February 16th, 2008
If you’re like many folks, you may be deeply concerned about how litigious our society has become and fear that your assets may one day be taken by creditors. ...
New North Carolina Trust Laws
Posted on: December 27th, 2007
In addition to the repeal of the rule against perpetuities, which is effective January 1, 2008 (perpetual trusts will be allowed in North Carolina provided certain requirements are met), there are a few other changes to North Carolina trust law, which were effective October 1, 2007:...
North Carolina has Repealed the Rule Against Perpetuities
Posted on: October 22nd, 2007
Effective August 19, 2007, North Carolina repealed the Rule Against Perpetuities, which means that multi-generation dynasty trusts can be created in North Carolina. Previously trusts could not last longer than 90 years or a life in being plus 21 years. ...
A QTIP is Not Just for Your Ears
Posted on: September 22nd, 2007
Estate planners love acronyms, and one of the most common when referring to a particular type of trust is QTIP, which stands for Qualified Terminable Interest Property. ...
U.S. Supreme Court to Decide on Trust Investment Fees
Posted on: June 8th, 2007
On June 25 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether the investment expenses of trusts are fully deductible or subject to a 2% floor. ...
Trust Beneficiary Bill of Rights
Posted on: March 8th, 2007
Capital Trust Company of Delaware’s website is full of articles and other information on trusts and estate planning One short piece that I found worth sharing is the Beneficiary Bill of Rights. ...
Posted on: January 25th, 2007
The use of a "Trust Protector" in trusts for maximum flexibility and protection is becoming increasingly common. ...
Posted on: January 17th, 2007
Professor Joshua Tate of Southern Methodist University has published an interesting and informative article on Incentive Trusts, which are generally used by parents to try to shape the behavior of their children. The abstract is as follows: ...