Financial Planning

Trends in 529 College Savings Plans

Posted on: October 28th, 2014
As student loan debts are at historic highs, new families are responding by investing in the next generation’s college savings. Record high funding of 529 College Savings Planswas recently reported by financial asset management company Strategic Insight....

Permitted Distributions for Special Needs Trusts

Posted on: February 13th, 2014
If you are starting to explore options for Special Needs Trusts in North Carolina, one of the first differences you discover are “third party” trusts and “self-settled” trusts. ...

Protecting Tangible Assets

Posted on: December 27th, 2013
Asset protection in North Carolina is not limited to preservation of investments and financial accounts. Art, antiques, classic cars, and other collectible items require asset protection tools and careful tax planning. ...

NC 529 College Savings Deduction Repealed 2014

Posted on: November 25th, 2013
The North Carolina state tax deduction for contributions made to 529 College Savings Plans will be repealed effective January 1, 2014. Before this date, taxpayers are able to deduct $2,500 contributions annually. ($5,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.)...

3 Concerns for Minors Inheriting IRAs

Posted on: November 7th, 2013
Beneficiary designations for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) allow account holders to designate a trust, charity, or any individual, regardless of their age, as a beneficiary. ...

Swiss Accounts: New Tax Terms for Offshore Accounts

Posted on: October 12th, 2013
Offshore trusts offer many benefits, which our attorneys explain in this foreign trust protection post. Offshore trusts or accounts are not exempt from domestic taxes, however some taxpayers have illegally used offshore accounts as a means of tax evasion....

Special Needs Law Month

Posted on: October 7th, 2013
Special Needs Law addresses multiple legal, financial, and medical concerns for families who care for a disabled loved one. October is Special Needs Law Month, a time when resources for special needs issues are promoted and explained. ...

Creditor Protection for Inherited IRAs

Posted on: September 29th, 2013
In June 2013, North Carolina’s Governor signed Senate Bill 279 into law, which made changes to statutes related to estates, trusts, and guardianships. One change provides additional creditor protection on retirement accounts in North Carolina....

3 Tax Benefits of Education Trusts

Posted on: August 30th, 2013
rustCounsel’s Gregory Herman-Giddens will present ‘Education Trusts and 529 Plans: Estate Planning Strategies for College Savings’ On September 5th in a 60-minute teleconference through the National Constitution Center....

North Carolina Pet Trusts

Posted on: August 29th, 2013
Not every state has laws addressing pet trusts. Fortunately, North Carolina pet trust laws allow residents to establish clear plans for the care of their companion animals....

3 Things to Consider for Retirement Planning

Posted on: July 17th, 2013
Without a retirement plan, an individual may diligently contribute to a savings account, but fail to be prepared for the true cost of their senior years. ...

$3M Limit on IRAs in Obama’s Proposal

Posted on: April 15th, 2013
Individual Retirement Accounts are a top retirement choice for individuals who want to enjoy tax-deferred savings. However, Obama’s new budget plan includes caps on IRA accounts. ...

Traditional IRAs: 3 Penalty-Free Withdrawals are Allowed Before Retirement

Posted on: March 4th, 2013
Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) may receive annual contributions up to $5,000 (as of 2013), and individuals over the age of 50 may contribute an additional $1,000. ...

Don’t Let Them Boss You Around!

Posted on: September 17th, 2012
Dealing with financial institutions is not always easy; nor are the institutions always in the right. This is a big frustration in practicing estate planning and probate law....

Duke’s OLLI Program to Offer Retirement Course in 2012

Posted on: December 13th, 2011
Local Financial Planner Janet Ramsey, MBA, CFP will be offering a course entitled To the Health of Your Wealth as part of Duke University’s OLLI program. ...

Reverse Mortgages – the Impact on Older Homeowners

Posted on: March 1st, 2011
From a recent AARP report: reverse mortgages offer older homeowners a way to tap home equity to meet financial needs in retirement. However, the collapse of the mortgage market in 2008–2009 has led to major changes that impact consumer choices. ...

Don’t Pay more than 24.5% Tax on Your Roth Conversion

Posted on: January 13th, 2011
Do you think you have to pay income tax on large ($500k++) Roth IRA conversions at the top marginal tax rates? Think again. I have recommend the following strategy to several of my clients. In most cases, you can stay with your current investment manager....

FDIC Insurance Permanently Increased to $250,000 per Depositor

Posted on: July 23rd, 2010
Here’s the text of the press release from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Note: for the rules that apply trust owned bank accounts (and other types of ownership, click here....

8 Reasons to Convert to a Roth IRA

Posted on: December 11th, 2009
As most people know by now, the $100,000 income limit on the ability to convert a traditional IRA to a tax-free Roth IRA will disappear next year. ...

MLPs Provide Income and Tax Benefits

Posted on: November 30th, 2009
This from Howard Hinds of the Curbstone Group in Boston: Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) are excellent tools for estate planning: 1. MLP distributions (around 8% yield right now) are considered return of capital, meaning that distributions reduce your basis in the MLP, while allocated net income increases your basis....

New Website for High Net Worth Individuals and Advisors to Network

Posted on: November 9th, 2009
Wealth Management Exchange is designed for networking and information exchange. One can sign up to receive email alerts on financial and estate planning topics....

NC 529 Plan Eliminates Two Investment Options

Posted on: May 16th, 2009
North Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan will be eliminating two investment options – the CollegeHorizonFunds and the Balanced Fund – due to their higher fees. ...

Changes to NC’s 529 College Savings Plan

Posted on: March 21st, 2009
Here are some recent favorable changes to North Carolina’s National Collge Savings Program (529 Plan): For 2009, a participant may reallocate the account assets twice during the year, rather than just once. ...

529 College Savings Plan Investments May Be Adjusted Twice Yearly in 2009

Posted on: December 29th, 2008
The IRS recently announced in Notice 2009-1 that in 2009 the investments in 529 College Savings Plans may be adjusted twice, as opposed to once per year, which has been the rule to date....

Big Tax Losses in 2008? Consider a Roth Conversion

Posted on: December 2nd, 2008
Self-employed persons or small business owners such as home builders with big tax losses for the year should consider converting their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs this year to "soak up" some or all of the loss....

Warren Buffet – Now’s the Time to Buy American Stocks

Posted on: October 20th, 2008
Words of wisdom from a sage investor on the NY Times Website. It is also important not to use the poor economy as an excuse to neglect protecting what you have by doing sound estate planning. ...

IRS Announces Pension Plan Limits for 2009

Posted on: October 17th, 2008
IR-2008-118, Oct. 16, 2008 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced cost‑of‑living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for tax year 2009....

FDIC Insurance Coverage for Trust Accounts

Posted on: July 16th, 2008
With the recent failure of IndyMac Bank and even large banks like Wachovia reporting astounding losses, some folks are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of their money. ...

BB&T Wealth Management Ranked #1

Posted on: July 14th, 2008
North Carolina’s own BB&T Wealth Management was rated as the most prestigious regional bank wealth manager by high net-worth consumers, according to the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index survey. ...

How to Organize Your Financial and Legal Affairs

Posted on: June 2nd, 2008
I recently came across a publication entitled If Something Should Happen – How to Organize Your Financial and Legal Affairs. ...

Make Sure Your “Estate Planner” is Trustworthy

Posted on: August 23rd, 2007
I’m still in catch up mode from being out a week in early August, which is the reason for my paltry postings of late, but this article on the Chicago Tribunewebsite caught my eye....

NC’s 529 College Savings Plan Recommended

Posted on: August 21st, 2007
Money magazine, in a August 2007 article on College Savings Plans, recommended North Carolina’s 529 Plan as a good choice for NC residents. NC’s plan features:...

Postnuptial Agreements On The Rise

Posted on: February 28th, 2007
My last post was about an article about 529 Plans in the February 24-25 2007 issue of The Wall Street Journal....

529 College Savings Plans used for Estate Tax Planning

Posted on: February 27th, 2007
An article in the February 24-25 issue of The Wall Street Journal describes how 529 College Savings plans can be used to reduce estate taxes. ...

When Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

Posted on: January 31st, 2007
Being in a college town, most of my clients are intelligent and well educated, and many handle their own taxes and investments. However, there are times when a professional’s advice can be invaluable....