Beneficiaries

Important North Carolina Probate Forms

Posted on: May 9th, 2017
Executors must maintain records of accounting and other required documentation as part of their administrative duties. Customarily, the following probate forms are used for North Carolina estates (links provided to official documents where available)...

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....

Why an Executor Might Need Probate Counsel in North Carolina

Posted on: June 6th, 2016
An executor's knowledge of state and federal legislation pertaining to estate administration might be limited. This limited knowledge poses a risk of errors. ...

3 Things Living Trusts Won’t Control

Posted on: April 28th, 2016
Trusts can help to minimize an estate tax burden and allow the trust grantor to retain control and flexibility. While trusts may serve as a powerful estate planning tool, there are some aspects that a living trust will not control....

3 Mistakes Parents Make in Estate Plans

Posted on: September 25th, 2015
For many remarried individuals, estate planning decisions must take into account not only one’s biological children, but also step-children, future children, or a new spouse. In revising estate plans to incorporate these considerations, parents might utilize planning methods that unintentionally expose family to risks....

Assets Not Distributed According to One’s Will

Posted on: September 2nd, 2015
Keeping one’s last will and testament and other estate planning documents up-to-date is a critical part of maintaining one’s estate plan. However, merely creating and updating one’s estate planning documents is not enough, by itself, to adequately provide for distribution of every asset....

Avoid a Will Dispute

Posted on: May 26th, 2015
An individual’s last will and testament might clearly reflect one’s wishes, but it does not prevent an estate dispute. Successfully contesting a will in North Carolina (and similarly in other states) requires evidence of certain factors. ...

A Will’s Limits in North Carolina Probate

Posted on: May 8th, 2015
A will cannot achieve every goal of the testator. No matter how finely crafted provisions are made and assets are addressed in a will, additional tools can help the testator preserve their wishes. An improperly drafted will, one that is not filed, or dying without a will could prompt courts to distribute the estate according...

Last-Minute Estate Planning in North Carolina

Posted on: April 9th, 2015
Forbes cited a survey in 2014 that revealed 51% of Americans aged 55 to 64 do not have an estate plan. Sometimes a health crisis prompts an individual to create a plan for bequeathing their assets. ...

Beneficiary Designation Reminder

Posted on: March 25th, 2015
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...

Inherited IRA Distributions Might Face Changes

Posted on: March 14th, 2015
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...

5 Tips for Millennials’ Estate Plans

Posted on: January 30th, 2015
Every adult can benefit from an estate plan, regardless of marital status, age, income, or assets. Our Chapel Hill estate planning attorneys have even reviewed estate planning tips for college students. ...

2014 Tax Changes

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014
As we are in the final quarter of 2013, our North Carolina tax attorneys are taking a look ahead at what the New Year brings for American taxpayers:...

NC Estate Planning for Singles

Posted on: October 29th, 2014
As the number of cohabiting unmarried couples rises, more families have multiple generations residing in a single household, and the law develops regarding the rights ofmarried same-sex couples in North Carolina, a large demographic of our state’s residents is overlooked: Singles....

Protecting IRA Assets for Beneficiaries: IRA Beneficiary Trusts

Posted on: October 23rd, 2014
Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled in Clark v. Rameker that inherited retirement accounts are subject to bankruptcy claims. As a result of this ruling, IRA owners are taking steps to ensure assets accumulated over a lifetime are protected for loved ones. ...

Asset Protection and Marriage

Posted on: September 5th, 2014
In the process of legally dissolving a marriage, the fate of assets may not match a spouse’s intentions. What should couples know about spousal claims and providing for children? ...

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. ...

Estate Planning Mistakes of Newlyweds

Posted on: June 1st, 2014
Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are not the only estate planning tools engaged couples and newlyweds in North Carolina should consider. ...

Estate Planning for New Parents in North Carolina

Posted on: May 20th, 2014
According to the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, over 17,800 babies were born in the three major counties of the Triangle during 2012. How should parents update their estate plans for new babies?...

3 Things When You Inherit an IRA

Posted on: January 29th, 2014
Last year North Carolina passed legislation that provides added creditor protection for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). ...

Step-Parents and Step-Children in Estate Planning

Posted on: January 24th, 2014
Estate planning for blended families is critical to ensure that assets are distributed as intended. A spouse’s family members are not included under North Carolina intestacy laws. Without a will, individuals who die in the Tar Heel State may not effectively leave assets to non-blood relatives....

Mistakes in Beneficiary Designations

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014
Beneficiary designations are an important tool in estate planning – one must always remember that their terms trump the distributions provided in a decedent’s Will. Retirement accounts, life insurance, and other assets offer owners the power to entitle individuals to these assets upon the owner’s death. Errors could cost a surviving family member their expected share of a loved one’s estate, pass assets to an unintended party, incite family conflict, or cause unnecessary tax burdens for beneficiaries....

Estate Planning for Posthumous Conceptions

Posted on: December 30th, 2013
A child may be born after a parent dies, which is a possibility couples can address in their estate plan. However, what are the inheritance rights of posthumously conceived children in North Carolina? ...

What to Know About Last-Minute Will Changes

Posted on: December 9th, 2013
Any competent individual over the age of 18 can create or update their Will in North Carolina. Sometimes a simple codicil (amendment) is sufficient in reflecting an individual’s wishes, but in other situations a completely new Will should be prepared. ...

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. ...

Affordable Care Act Info Session in Raleigh

Posted on: November 1st, 2013
Disability Rights of North Carolina, a not-for-profit dedicated to preserving the rights of those disabled in the Tar Heel State, hosts information sessions about the Affordable Care Act in Raleigh on November 6 and November 12, 2013....

Lost Life Insurance Policies

Posted on: October 11th, 2013
Were you told by a loved one that you were a beneficiary of their life insurance policy? If they passed away and didn’t leave behind policy details, how do you find the policy number and value of the benefits?...

What is an Heir Search Firm?

Posted on: June 10th, 2013
When an individual dies without a surviving spouse, siblings, parents, descendants, or named beneficiaries, their estate still needs to be distributed. ...

3 Estate Planning Baby Steps

Posted on: March 11th, 2013
When a baby is on the way, it is a perfect time for expectant parents to complete or update their estate plan to ensure their child’s future care. ...

Roth Conversions – Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Posted on: December 29th, 2009
Some financial advisors are warning against a Rush to Roth. The key to is to approach the idea cautiously and do a comprehensive analysis. ...

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. ...