Estate Planning

Out-of-State Property in North Carolina Probate

Posted on: January 24th, 2017
The executor must inventory and evaluate all personal property, vehicles, and assets that pass through probate. However, if the decedent held property outside of North Carolina, those assets must follow the laws present in the alternate jurisdiction....

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....

Penalties for Executors Due to Attorney Fault

Posted on: November 16th, 2016
A recent court ruling serves as a reminder of the personal financial liability executors may face even when they retain a probate attorney. Executors may be held legally responsible for errors in estate administration - even an attorney's errors....

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. ...

Dave Ramsey Might be Misinformed About Living Trusts

Posted on: May 7th, 2016
Financial guru Dave Ramsey shares advice regarding managing debt and finances with millions of people. However, one of his books makes a broad statement about living trusts that is not entirely true....

Asset Protection Failures

Posted on: April 29th, 2016
Accumulating assets takes time and effort; protecting assets properly requires both as well. Here are various factors that could ruin a plan and risk asset loss....

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....

Raleigh Now Has #2 Fastest-Growing Senior Population

Posted on: March 25th, 2016
Raleigh now has the second fastest-growing population of seniors in the United States. The growing number of seniors in the Triangle region not only triggers a strain on residential spaces like assisted living facilities, but it also prompts a burgeoning need for elder law discussions....

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....

Refusing to Serve as Executor in North Carolina

Posted on: February 17th, 2016
Many people might feel proud to be selected to serve as executor of a loved one’s estate. However, sometimes the person appointed as executor has no interest in fulfilling their duties....

Almost 1 in 4 Caregivers are Millennials

Posted on: January 19th, 2016
New research shows that almost 25 percent of caregivers are Millennials. The research came from a joint study between the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Policy Institute....

5 Concerns When Gifting a Down Payment on a Home

Posted on: January 5th, 2016
Family members might want to gift money to children to be used toward a down payment on a home. Cash down payment gifts, when not handled properly, could trigger tax consequences or create other complications....

3 Estate Planning Items to Consider When Selling a Business

Posted on: December 15th, 2015
With a growing number of entrepreneurs in North Carolina, combined with a reliable survival rate, small business owners might encounter an opportunity to sell their business. How will proceeds from the sale be managed, protected, and taxed?...

7 Power of Attorney Conflicts

Posted on: November 25th, 2015
Maintaining powers of attorney in one’s estate plan is generally an optimal planning practice. However, some conflicts can develop....

Same-Sex Couples and Social Security Spousal Benefits

Posted on: November 20th, 2015
Our Chapel Hill estate planning attorney Samantha Reichle recently wrote a post explaining the eligibility requirements and benefits that are now legally available to married same-sex couples nationwide. ...

August is National Make-a-Will Month

Posted on: August 13th, 2015
An increasing number of Americans fail to plan appropriately for the future needs of themselves and their families, both through inadequate retirement savings as well as neglected estate planning. August is Make-a-Will Month...

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?...

Covering Retirement v. Leaving Inheritance

Posted on: May 27th, 2015
Expenses in senior years continue to be a concern for many Americans. As multiple studies show, most individuals do not maintain adequate retirement contributions. ...

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. ...

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. ...

Downsides of Do-It-Yourself Powers of Attorney

Posted on: March 27th, 2015
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. ...

Tax Issues to Consider When Settling an Estate

Posted on: March 5th, 2015
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. ...

Creating a North Carolina Succession Plan

Posted on: February 26th, 2015
Failing to create a succession plan for a North Carolina business results in a few possible outcomes that might not match an owner’s wishes. Depending on how the company is structured, upon a business owner’s death, other partners may absorb business interests....

Timeshares in Estate Planning

Posted on: December 19th, 2014
Many of the clients our estate planning attorneys in Chapel Hill serve own property in multiple states, and some of the properties are timeshares. Timeshares are generally considered real property, with a deed as evidence of ownership. ...

Estate Planning for Healthcare Costs in Retirement

Posted on: November 22nd, 2014
AARP has released a study that estimates caregiving costs for families in the United States will total more than $520 billion annually. This estimate reflects the time and resources devoted by families and not skilled workers; the skilled worker estimate runs over $640 billion. ...

Estate Planning for Collectibles: Wine, Art, Cars & More

Posted on: November 17th, 2014
Estate plans are not only vehicles for passing cash, investments and real property along to named beneficiaries, these tools can also transfer more complex assets. How does one pass on a wine collection, valuable artwork, antique cars, or rare baseball cards that were accumulated over a lifetime?...

Same-Sex Marriages Legal in NC: Prenuptial Agreements & Estate Plans

Posted on: November 13th, 2014
Before October 10, 2014, same-sex marriages were not recognized in North Carolina. This posed complicated tax filing and estate planning challenges for North Carolina LGBT couples who legally married in an out-of-state jurisdiction....

Title Issues in North Carolina Estates: Joint Tenants

Posted on: October 31st, 2014
This post addresses the possible issues that may develop with one way of titling property: Joint Tenants with right of survivorship (JTWROS). ...

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....

Access to One’s Digital Estate

Posted on: October 25th, 2014
More states are starting to address a growing area of an individual’s estate: Digital assets. Last year North Carolina was slated to amend the durable power of attorney and estate administration laws to include power to manage digital assets, but the provisions did not pass. ...

Business Succession Options in North Carolina

Posted on: September 10th, 2014
Business succession plans address the future growth or disposition of the business upon a planned succession, or the death or incapacitation of the owner. Transitioning a business under these circumstances requires careful review and assessment. ...

3 Problems With Life Estate Title of Real Property

Posted on: September 2nd, 2014
Real estate laws in North Carolina allow property owners to create and convey remainder interests in real property, while retaining lifetime rights to the property (a life estate). ...

Asset Protection in Second Marriages

Posted on: August 25th, 2014
What asset protection strategies should an individual consider after divorce if they play to re-marry? Whether a marriage is a first or fifth, some planning tools always offer a degree of protection. Every couple’s goals, life stage, and assets are unique. ...

North Carolina Durable Powers of Attorney

Posted on: August 8th, 2014
A Durable Power of Attorney(“DPOA”) is an essential estate planning tool for most of our clients, allowing them to name an individual to handle their financial affairs in the event of incapacity. ...

Consequences of No Digital Asset Protection

Posted on: July 22nd, 2014
Digital asset protection is more than leaving behind one’s passwords. In an increasingly paperless world, failing to create instructions for accessing digital accounts could create problems for surviving family members....

Chatham County, NC Estate Administration Changes

Posted on: July 15th, 2014
The Chatham County Clerk of Superior Court recently released updates to estate administration rules. We provide a link to the official changes to Estate Administration – General Rules Practices 2014. ...

Debt Inheritance: Credit Cards, Tax, and Other Liabilities

Posted on: July 14th, 2014
An individual may accumulate assets during his or her lifetime, but debt may reduce or eliminate an inheritance family members expected to receive. Loved ones may “inherit” debt if a decedent lacked effective estate planning, beneficiary designation updates, and asset protection....

Repeal of the Permanent Federal Estate Tax?

Posted on: July 12th, 2014
The federal estate tax was made permanent as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act. (A few months after ATRA passed, Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal moved to revert the “permanent” estate tax to 2009 terms.)...

Estate Planning for Unmarried Seniors

Posted on: May 22nd, 2014
Earlier this year the National Survey of Family Growth reported an increase in cohabiting unmarried couples between the ages of 15-44; the trend has grown faster among seniors. ...

Retirement Plans in Same-Sex Marriage

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014
Some retirement benefits only apply to spouses in a legal marriage. Since legal marriages are not recognized in every jurisdiction and theWindsor ruling granted federal recognition of same-sex marriages, how should retirement benefits be handled?...

Last-Minute Tax Review for Same-Sex Couples

Posted on: March 28th, 2014
As Americans across the country prepare tax returns in the final days before April 15th, married same-sex couples face unique tax filing requirements. ...

What Happened to the Estate Tax Exclusion Portability Deadline?

Posted on: February 5th, 2014
Estates who have not yet filed a federal estate tax return (IRS Form 706) electing portability now have a new deadline to file election of portability. ...

Pending Legislation May Change Veterans Service Pension Benefits

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014
Congress has a few pending law changes that may affect Veterans Service Pension Benefits. Current regulations do not penalize veterans for making gifts or other transfers of their assets any time prior to their application for veterans service pension benefits. ...

Estate Planning and Real Estate Titles in North Carolina

Posted on: January 21st, 2014
Some families attempt to manage their own estate planning. For those who own a home and plan to eventually leave the home to children or other relatives, they may change the way the property title is held in an effort to make the transfer of ownership easier upon their death. However, without the counsel of a North Carolina estate planning or tax lawyer, these do-it-yourself methods may result in significant tax liability for the children....

NC Living Will Possibly Invalid For Pregnant Women

Posted on: January 5th, 2014
North Carolina is one of approximately two dozen other states where a living Will may not be valid for pregnant women. ...

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....

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? ...

First Steps for Executors in North Carolina

Posted on: December 10th, 2013
In most cases of estate administration in North Carolina, an executor is aware of their appointment before the decedent passes away. Occasionally, an individual only learns they are the executor of an estate after a close friend or family member dies. ...

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. ...

Life Estate Insurance Blunder

Posted on: November 11th, 2013
Forgetting to simply add one name to a homeowner’s insurance policy could compromise an heir’s property inheritance. For individuals who take advantage of the added protection, reduced taxes, and ability to avoid probate that a life estate offers when holding title to property, one mistake with insurance may create more problems than their careful planning had intended to prevent. ...

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. ...

Important Tax Steps for Same-Sex Couples in NC

Posted on: October 22nd, 2013
Even though North Carolina does not grant or recognize same-sex marriages, the Internal Revenue Service announced in August 2013 that same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes. ...

National Estate Planning Awareness Week 2013

Posted on: October 21st, 2013
Just before the holiday season starts siphoning shoppers’ money out of their pockets and into local economies, estate planning attorneys around the country spread awareness about important saving, investing, and planning opportunities during National Estate Planning Awareness Week. ...

When Powers-of-Attorney are Not Accepted

Posted on: October 10th, 2013
While powers-of-attorney are important estate planning tools, they may not always be recognized by third parties. Why might this happen?...

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. ...

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....

Trust Modifications if you Move Out-of-State

Posted on: August 27th, 2013
If you are moving to North Carolina and already established a living trust in another state, or if you established a living trust in North Carolina and are now moving out-of-state, are you compromising the terms of your trust with your relocation?...

3 Things to Include in a North Carolina Prenuptial Agreement

Posted on: August 25th, 2013
Creating a North Carolina prenuptial (premarital) agreement for engaged couples empowers both partners with the ability to decide what happens to their respective property in the event of divorce, a spouse’s death or incapacitation....

Can I Use a Power of Attorney to Modify a Trust?

Posted on: August 18th, 2013
Although not an everyday question, at times those who are attorneys-in-fact—the authorized agents appointed in an individual’s power of attorney—inquire about their abilities to amend a trust....

3 Tips to Avoid Family Conflicts in Estate Planning

Posted on: July 31st, 2013
Whether you are creating an estate plan for the first time or making changes to one, be aware that how you plan to leave your assets may create tension in your family. ...

North Carolina Tax Reform Passes

Posted on: July 26th, 2013
Last week the House and the Senate both passed the North Carolina tax reform bill. (Bill 998. The Tax Simplification and Reduction Act.) Governor Pat McCrory signed it into law this week on Tuesday, July 23, 2013....

Estate Planning Concerns for Adult Children Living With Parents

Posted on: July 16th, 2013
The numbers of individuals living with extended family have only been growing. Our North Carolina estate planning attorneys blogged about estate planning issues of the “Sandwich” generation – the large pool of Americans who are caring for both their children and their aging parents. ...

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in North Carolina

Posted on: July 11th, 2013
The landmark federal ruling of the United States vs. Windsor in late June 2013 has deemed the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. ...

Checklist for Estate Planning in 2013

Posted on: June 27th, 2013
Now that the year is halfway over and theAmerican Taxpayer Relief Act’s (ATRA) “permanent” changes may be altered once again—and North Carolina Tax Reform has yet to establish definite changes—our estate planning lawyers in North Carolina created a list of three steps you can take by the end of 2013....

3 Steps to a Better Retirement Plan

Posted on: June 26th, 2013
What is your ideal retirement? Everyone takes their own strategy toward retirement, but generally individuals try to create a retirement plan that will provide enough money to care for themselves while affording them the means to do the things they enjoy. ...

Estate Planning Tips for Second Homes

Posted on: June 19th, 2013
North Carolina coastal properties from Corolla down to Sunset Beach are attractive investment homes that can be rented out during the summer season, used as a winter escape, and eventually a primary retirement home. ...

Estate Planning Steps Before 40

Posted on: June 18th, 2013
According to the North Carolina Office of State and Budget Management, as of 2012 there are over 3.5 million people in North Carolina between the ages of 18-44. In 20 years, approximately half will be close to retirement age. ...

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples in North Carolina

Posted on: June 11th, 2013
There are thousands of couples living together in North Carolina who are not married. Relationships may be just a year old or spanning a few decades....

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. ...

When Spouses Disagree During Estate Planning

Posted on: June 4th, 2013
Choosing beneficiaries and deciding which assets each will receive may become a challenge if your spouse does not agree with your choices. ...

3 Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Fix

Posted on: June 3rd, 2013
Choosing to make an estate plan is smart, but some individuals happen to make mistakes at the same time. Estate planning should not be intimidating. ...

3 Reasons Why You Need IRA Beneficiary Trusts

Posted on: May 27th, 2013
Naming a trust as an IRA beneficiary has become a popular estate planning tool in recent years.* There are many advantages to using an IRA Trust: ...

Should an Estate Plan be Revised Before or After a Divorce?

Posted on: May 20th, 2013
We’ve written about the importance of updating your beneficiaries, but when you’re going through a divorce, should you update your estate plan while navigating separation or after the divorce is finalized? ...

Distribution Advantages for Spouse IRA Beneficiaries

Posted on: May 5th, 2013
Designating a spouse as a beneficiary of an IRA not only ensures they will have access to retirement accounts in the event their partner passes away, but it offers them unique advantages to which non-spouse beneficiaries are not entitled....

Disclaiming Inheritances in North Carolina

Posted on: May 1st, 2013
Why would an individual renounce or disclaim an inheritance in North Carolina? An inheritance may not always be expected and it may not be desirable for the beneficiary. Certain assets, like real estate or personal items, may require complicated or expensive maintenance that the beneficiary does not want to manage. ...

Ways to Protect an Inheritance from Creditors

Posted on: April 30th, 2013
Bequeathing assets involves more than naming beneficiaries. Creating a proper estate plan offers individuals and families the ability to protect their assets for loved ones after they’re gone. Unexpected claims could drain accounts and threaten properties that were intended to be passed on to beneficiaries. ...

Google’s Digital Asset Management Tool

Posted on: April 25th, 2013
2013 seems to be the year of digital afterlife planning. Last month the North Carolina Senate approved Bill 279, a bill for the state’s first-ever laws addressing digital assets. This month Google took their first step forward in post-death account management of their applications....

Why You Should Update Your Beneficiaries

Posted on: April 24th, 2013
Neglecting to update beneficiaries, or failing to name them, may leave life insurance and retirement accounts to unintended recipients, create probate expenses, and cause tax problems. ...

Ways to Protect Your Finances: Financial Literacy Month

Posted on: April 9th, 2013
April is Autism Awareness Month, Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and it is also Financial Literacy Month. These three campaigns may at first appear unrelated to each other, but they are interconnected....

North Carolina Bill Affecting Digital Assets

Posted on: March 30th, 2013
Recently we reviewed the challenges of digital estate planning—the ways surviving family members’ access to a decedent’s online accounts are affected—and how accessibility is determined by individual account policies....

Repeal of the North Carolina Estate Tax?

Posted on: February 26th, 2013
Recently we wrote about North Carolina potentially joining several other states that are repealing state estate tax (or “death tax”). Last week, the North Carolina House Finance Committee approved repeal of the state’s death tax. ...

Digital Estate Planning Challenges

Posted on: February 15th, 2013
Estate planning has always involved a great deal of paperwork. Today, individuals have personal access to online banking, social media accounts, and email that has pushed the industry into a new realm: Digital estate planning....

North Carolina’s Estate Tax: Dying Out?

Posted on: February 14th, 2013
Most of the country’s attention has been on federal estate tax changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. ...

9 Steps (Days) Away From the Fiscal Cliff – EIN Problems Too

Posted on: December 22nd, 2012
Congress has failed to avert the fiscal cliff. We have only nine days until the estate tax exemption drops to $1 million (and the rate goes up to 55%). Not to mention the income tax increases. ...

Tennessee Estate Planning: Tax Exemption Changes in 2012, 2013 and After

Posted on: December 21st, 2012
Although this is the North Carolina Estate Planning Blog, much of what I blog about applies to folks all over the country. Since I am licensed in Tennessee and have clients there, I thought it was appropriate to report on these important changes in Tennessee transfer tax. ...

3 Tips For Succession Planning

Posted on: December 3rd, 2012
Estate plans and trusts preserve assets accumulated over a lifetime and distribute them to beneficiaries, but what happens to a business when the owner or key executive departs to another company, becomes ill, or passes away? ...

Now is the Time to Consider Tax Issues as 2013 Draws Near

Posted on: November 21st, 2012
A recent press briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney touched on tax issues that will affect every American in 2013. Right now, Americans are ill-prepared for the approaching drop off the “fiscal cliff.” As tax cuts are about to expire in the New Year, how will individuals be affected?...

The Financial Impact of ‘Gray Divorce’

Posted on: November 5th, 2012
Divorce at any age involves the sensitive matter of splitting assets and debt. For couples who divorce in their senior years (coined a “gray divorce”), not only are a lifetime’s investments subject to division, but the costs of long-term care (LTC) also become an even more important consideration....

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. ...

3 Tips for National Estate Planning Awareness Week

Posted on: October 16th, 2012
October 15-21, 2012 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The country-wide campaign focuses on educating individuals about the importance of planning their estates, and the risks they face if they have not yet created an estate plan. ...

Transferring Vehicles to a Revocable Living Trust

Posted on: September 26th, 2012
The use of revocable living trusts to avoid probate is common in North Carolina. However, one type of property that is rarely transferred to a living trust is automobiles, since doing so involves a trip to the local DMV office and paying to change the title. ...

Elder Law Resources – NC and Beyond

Posted on: September 22nd, 2012
Wake Forest University’s Law School is well known for its Elder Law Clinic, whose website contains a wealth of resources on elder law issues, including Basic North Carolina Information....

The Conversation – How to Talk to Loved Ones About Elder Care Issues

Posted on: May 25th, 2012
I recently met with a loving grandson, who needed some advice regarding his grandmother. His grandmother currently lives in another state. ...

NC POA Case Shows it’s Better to Plan in Advance

Posted on: April 17th, 2012
A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision affirmed the Superior Court verdict that an agent under a power of attorney did not breach his fiduciary duty to his aunt, Doris King or unjustly enrich himself at her expense....

No More IRA Stretching?

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012
Senator Baucus’ proposal to do away with stretching for most inherited IRA has not gone away as was anticipated earlier this month. A recently introduced Senate bill, S. 1813, the Highway Investment, Job Creation, and Economic Growth Act, ...

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. ...

Tax Related Duties of an Executor

Posted on: February 1st, 2012
I just came across this article, Closing Down the Estate, on SmartMoney.com. It gives a good overview of what an executor is responsible for from a tax perspective, but is by no means exhaustive. Since Executors can be personally liable for certain tax penalties, they should make sure to engage an experienced tax attorney or CPA to ensure that everything is done timely and correctly. ...

How to Draft IRA Trusts – Teleconference

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011
Attorneys interested in learning more about IRA Trusts may wish to sign up for my 90 minute teleconference, How to Draft IRA Trusts, to be held on January 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The program may also be of interest to CPAs, financial planners and trust officers....

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. ...

Estate Planning and Probate Seminar for Paralegals

Posted on: December 5th, 2011
North Carolina legal assistants working with estate lawyers may be interested in a day-long seminar, Estate Planning and Probate Practice for Paralegals, to be held in Chapel Hill on January 25, 2012. I will be presenting the portion on Assisting with Guardianships....

12 Scary Beneficiary Designation Mistakes

Posted on: October 31st, 2011
It’s Halloween, and tonight kids of all ages will be dressed in an assortment of costumes, many designed to frighten. What frightens an estate planner? Here are a dozen examples of scary planning (or lack thereof) with regard to life insurance and retirement plan beneficiaries:...

Health Care Legal Documents Vitally Important

Posted on: September 29th, 2011
To help increase awareness of the importance of having up to date health care legal documents (Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will and HIPAA Authorization), TrustCounsel is offering all three documents for $50 today and tomorrow (September 29 and 30) to North Carolina residents through OurLocalDeal. ...

Summary of Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal for Estate and Gift Taxes

Posted on: June 29th, 2011
A June 22, 2011article on Trusts and Estates magazine’s website contains a nice summary of President Obama’s budget proposal measures effecting estate planning. ...

A Funny Question to Ask a Lawyer

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011
My blog has a function that allows readers to comment on a post. In the vast majority of cases, however, the comments are actually questions by those trying to avoid having to pay a lawyer to assist or advise them. ...

Why You Might Not Want a Simple Estate Plan

Posted on: April 25th, 2011
Many people come in to see me with the notion that all that they need and want is a "simple" estate plan. Generally that means no living trust, and a will with no trust provisions for surviving family members. ...

National Health Care Decisions Day

Posted on: April 16th, 2011
Today is National Health Care Decisions Day. Take charge of your future – talk to family, your doctor and your estate planning attorney about your wishes. ...

Company Buy-Sell Agreements – Plan Ahead

Posted on: April 13th, 2011
One estate planning tool that can protect your family and partners is a buy-sell agreement. This legal document gives owners the first chance to buy an interest in the company if another owner pulls out or dies. ...

Planning Tips for Clients with Chronic Illness

Posted on: March 29th, 2011
Yesterday I attended a presentation by attorney Martin Shenkman, whose wife has multiple sclerosis – he regularly speaks on planning for those with chronic illness. He offered the use of his materials to the attendees, and this is one of his memos: ...

Long-Term Care Planning for Your Senior Life

Posted on: March 9th, 2011
Many senior citizens freely admit that they fear growing older more than they fear death. The prospect of becoming increasingly frail and dependent in a society which worships strength and self-reliance, and of losing family and lifetime friends can understandably make the specter of old age a frightening one. ...

Powers of Attorney “Die” Along With the Principal

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011
General ("financial") Durable Powers of Attorney (DPOAs) are very useful documents that every competent adult should have. DPOAs can be used to manage one’s property and affairs in the event of incompetency, avoiding the need for a court proceeding to determine incompetency and appoint a guardian. ...

Life Insurance to Pay a Future Bill

Posted on: February 10th, 2011
Second-to-die insurance is traditionally purchased by affluent married couples.How it works: The insurance proceeds are paid out upon the death of the second spouse when the funds are often needed to pay taxes....

Am I Ready to Die?

Posted on: February 9th, 2011
I’m at home today, sick with the flu. Last night was rough, fever, chills, cough, and inability to sleep, but I feel a bit better right now. However, during the worst of the night, a thought came to mind that it might actually be a relief if my mortal existence ended. ...

You Need a Power of Attorney

Posted on: January 27th, 2011
Giving someone your power of attorney (POA) has been likened to giving a trusted person a spare set of keys to your house or car. If a problem arises — for example, you lose your keys — your interests are protected. ...

More on Estate Tax – for 2010, 2011 and 2012

Posted on: January 26th, 2011
"Nothing is certain but death and taxes," Benjamin Franklin famously said. In the last decade, another occurrence has been certain: The federal estate tax keeps changing. The tax cut legislation passed recently establishes new estate and gift tax rules for this year, next year and last year. ...

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. ...

Operation of Law: Coordinate your Will and Property Ownership, etc.

Posted on: December 28th, 2010
You know the importance of having a will. If you die "intestate" (without a will in legal language), your state’s laws will determine the disposition of your assets....

Act Now to Save GST Tax – Expires 12/31/10

Posted on: December 28th, 2010
On December 17, 2010 the President signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Relief Act), extending the Bush-era tax cuts. This new law creates a once-in-a-lifetime planning opportunity that ends at midnight, December 31, 2010....

Duke’s OLLI Program to Offer Retirement Course

Posted on: December 27th, 2010
Local Financial Planner Janet Ramsey, MBA, CFP will be offering a course entitledWealth Planning in the New Normal, Navigating Retirement Decisions in Rough Waters as part of Duke University’s OLLI program. ...

2011 – The Federal Estate Tax Returns

Posted on: December 1st, 2010
For the past ten years, the federal estate tax rules have been changing and they will shift again on January 1, 2011. As of that date, the federal estate tax will return with a $1 million exemption and rate of 37-55%. ...

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....

Forgoing an ILIT- Estate Planning’s Costliest Mistake

Posted on: September 11th, 2010
Most people know that the proceeds of a life insurance policy are generally free of income taxes. What many don’t realize, however, is that the same proceeds are included in one’s estate for estate tax purposes....

Online Wills Are Risky

Posted on: September 7th, 2010
I came across this article by lawyer and journalist Deborah L .Jacobs, The Case Against Do-It-Yourself Wills, on Forbes.com today. While I think the article sends an important message, I take issue with some of what Jacobs, and even nationally known attorney Jonathan Blattmachr have to say:...

NC Law Requiring Name of Drafting Attorney on Wills Clarified

Posted on: August 27th, 2010
Effective January 1, 2010 North Carolina law required (1) that a Will prepared by an attorney contain the name of the attorney as the drafter;...

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....

10 Things to Know Before You Retire

Posted on: August 20th, 2010
I created a few of the these "10 Things" lists myself, and this list provides some basic information on what to think about before entering retirement. ...

What is Medicaid Planning?

Posted on: August 5th, 2010
This post is by elder law attorney Kristin L. Burrows, who recently joined my firm. Look for more entries from her in the future, focusing on elder law....

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. ...

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)....

NC General Assembly Considering Bill to Address Issue of Outdated Wills and Trusts of Those Dying in 2010

Posted on: May 20th, 2010
With no estate tax in 2010, the prospects of reinstatement diminishing daily, and the ever more probable $1 million exemption in 2011, my staff has been working hard to notify our existing clients that they should come to have their wills or trusts updated....

An Estate Tax Nightmare…

Posted on: April 19th, 2010
Forbes.com has been publishing a series on finance and taxes – here’s one about an estate tax worst case scenario: Estate Tax Could Come Back with a Sharp Bite....

NC Medical Society Website – A Resource for Advance Directives

Posted on: March 22nd, 2010
In addition to attorney-prepared health care planning documents like Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and HIPAA Authorizations, I often talk to clients about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders and the newer Medical Order Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form. ...

Airplane Kills Jogger Story offers Example of Necessity of Estate Planning

Posted on: March 18th, 2010
Most everyone in the country has heard about the Georgia husband and father, Robert Gary Jones, who was killed by an airplane while jogging on the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. ...

10 Year Minimum GRAT Approved by Ways and Means Committee

Posted on: March 18th, 2010
Click "Continue Reading" for the pertinent text from the report by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. ...

Special Needs Trusts: Allowable Expenses

Posted on: March 12th, 2010
Special Needs Trusts (SNTs), also sometimes referred to as Supplemental Needs Trusts, are used to provide supplemental benefits to disabled or elderly...

Battle to the Death (Tax)

Posted on: March 8th, 2010
Here’s the latest on the fight over the future of the estate tax tax, from Bloomberg.com. In general, Republicans and business lobbyists are pushing for a $5 million exemption and a 35% rate, ...

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. ...

State of the North Carolina Estate Tax

Posted on: January 25th, 2010
For years, there has only been North Carolina estate tax due if federal estate tax was due. Now, however, that the federal estate tax is gone (for now, anyway), what’s the status of the NC estate tax?...

Retroactive Estate Tax Not Certain

Posted on: January 15th, 2010
The Dow Jones Newswire quotes Rep. Charles Rangel, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, as saying that he does not favor retroactive estate tax legislation (to January 1, 2010). ...

Run, Don’t Walk to Your Estate Attorney!

Posted on: January 13th, 2010
From The New York Times to my bully pulpit: This article helps explain why revising old estate plans is more important than ever, given this bizarre (tax-wise) year of 2010. ...

The Time for FLPs or FLLCs is Now!

Posted on: January 9th, 2010
This is from Steve Akers’ recent presentation, Estate Planning in Light of One-Year ‘Repeal’ of Estate and GST Tax in 2010:...

Does Your Will Waive Bond for the Executor?

Posted on: January 5th, 2010
The following is a guest post by Chris Birk of SuretyBonds.com, which also publishes the Surety Bond Insider:...

Does Your Will Waive Bond for the Executor?

Posted on: January 5th, 2010
The following is a guest post by Chris Birk of SuretyBonds.com, which also publishes the Surety Bond Insider:...

Planning After “Repeal” of the Federal Estate Tax

Posted on: January 4th, 2010
From its inception, the 2001 tax act was scheduled to repeal the federal estate tax and generation skipping transfer tax (GSTT) for one year beginning January 1, 2010. ...

Planning with the Wyoming Close LLC

Posted on: December 21st, 2009
What is an LLC? In 1977 Wyoming was the first state to enact laws permitting the creation of a Limited Liability Company. ...

No Movement on the Estate Tax

Posted on: December 16th, 2009
Here’s a recent article on the estate tax from the WSJ.com. Not exactly objective reporting, more like an opinion piece against the "death" tax. ...

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....

Bank of America Liable for Failure to Honor Power of Attorney

Posted on: November 23rd, 2009
In a recent Florida case, Bank of America was held liable for refusing to honor a power of attorney: Copyright 2009 Stuart News Company All Rights Reserved The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News (Stuart, Florida) November 15, 2009 Sunday Martin County Edition SECTION: LOCAL; Pg. B5 LENGTH: 496 words HEADLINE: Stuart man takes on Bank of America BYLINE: Melissa E. Holsman staff writer BODY: ...

Is Your Will a “Turkey”? 6 Ways to Tell

Posted on: November 21st, 2009
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, but many people currently have turkeys of a different kind – poorly drafted Wills. If your Will is missing one or more of these features, it’s time for an update:...

The IRS Loves Retirement Accounts

Posted on: November 19th, 2009
Planning for tax-qualified plans, which includes IRAs, 401(k)s and qualified retirement plans, requires a careful examination of the potential taxes that impact these assets. Unlike most other assets that receive a “basis step up” to current fair market value upon the owner’s death, IRAs, 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans do not step-up to the date-of-death value....

Year End Gift Checks – make sure you do it right

Posted on: November 19th, 2009
Many people are aware that they can give any number of other people up to $13,000 per year under the federal gift tax annual exclusion (IRC Section 2503(b)). Staying under this number means that no gift tax return has to be filed and that there will be no reduction in the amount that can be passed free of estate taxes at the donor’s death. ...

Online Wills – You Get What You Pay For

Posted on: November 16th, 2009
Last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal’s website featured an article on online estate planning programs: Before It’s Too Late: A Test of Online Wills. As you might imagine, I’m not a big fan of do-it-yourself estate planning, particularly for those who have substantial assets. ...

How Does Your Living Trust Stack Up?

Posted on: November 12th, 2009
Click "Continue Reading" for a Comprehensive Living Trust Checklist to determine whether or not your trust needs to be upgraded. Thanks to attorney Thomas J. Bouman for the checklist, which I have modified for North Carolina purposes....

Life Insurance – an Estate Tax Time Bomb

Posted on: November 11th, 2009
One common oversight I see when reviewing new clients’ financial status is failure to consider the estate tax impact of large life insurance policies. Most people know that life insurance proceeds are received free from income tax. ...

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....

Wills – are You Aware or Blissfully Ignorant?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2009
Last week was National Estate Planning Awareness Week – I’m sure most of us didn’t know that, but awareness about the necessity of estate planning is pitifully low, so anything that can be done to help folks realize that it’s important to plan for the future is good....

Uncertainty in Future of Estate Tax No Reason to Delay Planning

Posted on: October 23rd, 2009
Check out this aptly titled article on webcpa.com – The dangers of postponing estate planning until Congress clarifies the law....

Uncertainty in Future of Estate Tax No Reason to Delay Planning

Posted on: October 23rd, 2009
Check out this aptly titled article on webcpa.com – The dangers of postponing estate planning until Congress clarifies the law. Don’t let the expenditure of a few hours or a couple of thousand dollars keep you from putting a plan into place that could avoid unintended financial problems for your family and/or save them hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes. ...

Regular Updates to Will Important

Posted on: October 22nd, 2009
This article from WSJ online on the effect on changing estate tax exemptions on what’s left for the surviving spouse describes just one reason why....

When NOT to use a Living Trust

Posted on: October 6th, 2009
Practically every day, I discuss with clients the pros and cons of revocable living trusts. In my opinion, the positives generally far outweigh the negatives, but living trusts don’t make sense for everyone. ...

Estate Planning Lessons from the Waltons

Posted on: September 28th, 2009
Contemporary estate planning causes a division of an estate and results in an ultimate dissipation of the resource base over a period of years. Is it possible to keep the resource base together to serve the family for many family generations? T...

“First-to-Die” Life Insurance Now Available

Posted on: August 28th, 2009
Second-to-die life insurance has long been used by married couples to provide liquidity to pay estate taxes at the death of the second spouse to die. Such insurance is less expensive and easier to obtain than two separate policies on the same individuals....

Put Your Parents in Your Will?

Posted on: August 25th, 2009
This article discusses when it might be appropriate to include your parents or grandparents in your will or living trust – generally when you are providing support for them. ...

Is Your Advisor IRA Savvy?

Posted on: August 11th, 2009
Last week I attended a presentation by Ed Slott, CPA, America’s foremost IRA expert. A couple of years ago I participated in an extensive two-day training with Slott, and found him to be both informative and entertaining. ...

Bequests Under Will to Drafting Attorney to be Prohibited

Posted on: July 20th, 2009
Beginning January 1, 2010, it will be unlawful for North Carolina attorneys to prepare a Will or Codicil naming the attorney as a beneficiary unless the attorney is within five degrees of kinship of the testator, a present or former spouse of the testator, or a parent, sibling or child of a spouse or former spouse of the testator....

NC Changes Renunciation Laws

Posted on: June 12th, 2009
On June 1, 2009, Governor Perdue signed into law Session Law 2009-48, which, effective October 1, 2009, institutes substantial changes to to statutes dealing with renunciation of interests in property. ...

How Much Do You Charge for a Will?

Posted on: June 8th, 2009
That’s a question we hear frequently from callers to the office. While we like to be able to answer that question quickly and easily, that’s not possible. My favorite lawyer’s answer applies: "well, it depends." ...

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....

Baucus Bill Keeps $3.5 Million Estate Tax Exemption

Posted on: March 28th, 2009
From the GiftLaw eNewsletter: Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Taxpayer Certainty and Relief Act of 2009 on March 26, 2009. The tax bill includes a $2.3 trillion middle class tax cut package and also creates a freeze on estate tax rates and major estate planning modifications....

What do I do with my Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will?

Posted on: March 27th, 2009
So, you’ve been a responsible adult and have recently completed your estate plan. As part of your plan, you have a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPAA Authorization. Now what?...

Tax Discounts Alive and Well – For Now

Posted on: February 5th, 2009
The U.S. Tax Court issued an opinion on January 29, 2009 in the Estate of Marjorie deGreeff Litchfield v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2009-21). ...

Estate Still Over $3.5 Million? Now is the Time to Plan

Posted on: January 31st, 2009
​The estate tax exemption is up (to $3.5 million) and portfolios are down. However, for those whose estates are still above $3,500,000, now is the perfect time to transfer wealth to younger generations. ...

Estate Tax Bill Submitted to House Ways and Means Committee

Posted on: January 14th, 2009
A bill entitled the Certain Estate Tax Relief Act of 2009 was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. ...

Own Rental Real Estate? You Need an LLC to Protect Yourself

Posted on: December 9th, 2008
Anyone who owns rental real estate in his or her individual name is taking a tremendous risk. ...

How to Choose an Executor

Posted on: September 19th, 2008
This article is from one of our recent newsletters. Although it refers only to executors, most of the considerations also apply to trustees. ...

Real Property Transfer on Death Act

Posted on: September 15th, 2008
BY CHRIS BURTI, VICE PRESIDENT, SENIOR LEGAL COUNSEL, STATEWIDE TITLE, INC. Elder Law is becoming a burgeoning practice area as the Baby Boomer Generation is rapidly beginning to gray out. ...

IRS Publishes Report on 2005 Gifts

Posted on: August 19th, 2008
The IRS recently published a report on lifetime wealth transfers in 2005 as disclosed to the IRS on federal gift tax returns. ...

Specific Benefits

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. ...

Life Insurance Premium Financing

Posted on: June 26th, 2008
Many of us could use more insurance for estate planning purposes, such as financial security for loved ones or payment of estate taxes....

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. ...

Beyond the Basics – a Trio of Considerations for Succession Planning

Posted on: May 16th, 2008
When doing estate planning, one needs to consider to whom to leave one’s property, which is usually not much of a problem....

Good News for Family LLCs

Posted on: May 11th, 2008
As a proponent of Family Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) for asset management, creditor protection, and ease of gifting, I was pleased to read about the U.S. Tax Court’s decision in Mirowski v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2008-74. ...

IRS to Publish New Proposed Regulations for 529 Plans

Posted on: March 1st, 2008
The IRS has announced that it will soon propose new regulations governing 529 College Savings Plans, which will (I) contain an anti-abuse rule (to prevent using 529 Plans to skirt gift tax rules);...

Questions for the Family Business Owner

Posted on: February 1st, 2008
Owners of family businesses face unique estate planning challenges. Far too often, owners fail to plan properly, or at all, which can ultimately lead to higher estate taxes, conflicts among family members, and even failure of the business....

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. ...

Records and Documents Required by Survivors

Posted on: August 31st, 2007
Earlier this week a couple of clients contacted me asking if I had a form called and "Essential Document Locator." ...

Retirement Accounts and Income Taxes vs. Estate Taxes

Posted on: August 29th, 2007
This posting provides a brief explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of funding a Family Trust (aka Bypass or Credit-Shelter Trust, or Trust B) with an IRA or other retirement accounts. ...

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 House Committee Approves New Advance Directives Bill

Posted on: July 11th, 2007
​A committee of the North Carolina House approved a bill changing the Declaration of a Desire for a Natural Death (Living Will) and Health Care Power of Attorney laws and the statutorily approved forms. ...

Gift and Estate Tax Planning for Non-Citizen Spouses

Posted on: July 4th, 2007
While non-citizens who reside in the U.S. are subject to U.S. income tax on their worldwide income, and U.S. estate tax for worldwide assets, they do not receive the same treatment as citizens when it comes to U.S. gift and estate taxes. ...

Why Establish an IRA Trust?

Posted on: June 29th, 2007
In 2005 a Private Letter ruling was issued by the IRA approving a specially designed "IRA Trust" that offers maximum protection and flexibility while allowing the beneficiaries to "stretch" their shares of the IRA over their life expectancies. ...

Play Dumb to Find a Good Lawyer?

Posted on: June 23rd, 2007
Today I came across a question and answer column on the Raleigh News and Observer website called "Ask Holly." ...

Survey Finds Over Two-Thirds of Americans Lack a Will

Posted on: May 31st, 2007
As reported in the Lincoln Journal Star, a recent survey by the website LegalZoom found that over 70% of Americans do not have a last will and testament. ...

Nevada Offers Estate Planning Advantages

Posted on: May 22nd, 2007
North Carolina is not known for its attractive estate planning and asset protection laws, but NC residents can avail themselves of certain out-of-state planning strategies that can provide significant estate tax savings and creditor protection....

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – a Victim of his Dad’s Failure to Plan?

Posted on: May 11th, 2007
Yesterday Dale Earnhardt, Jr. announced that he is leaving what was his father’s company, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), to hopefully drive for another, more competitive company. ...

How to Avoid Probate

Posted on: May 7th, 2007
What is Probate? Probate is the court process for settling the estate of a deceased person. The executor named in a Will, ...

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. ...

Living Trust Scammers Booted Out of NC

Posted on: October 13th, 2006
Good news in this recent article in the News and Observer: Andrea Weigl, Staff Writer : A Wake Superior Court judge has ordered two California companies to stop selling estate planning products to North Carolina consumers...