Estate Tax

Factors That Affect Length of Probate

Posted on: May 11th, 2017
The duration of a North Carolina probate administration depends on a variety of factors. Understanding common causes of probate delays can help executors and other parties involved in the estate administration to prevent unnecessary interruptions. ...

Possible Tax Items to Expect With Trump Adminstration

Posted on: December 12th, 2016
Have you reviewed the proposed tax changes under the forthcoming Trump Administration? Read on to learn what is expected to change within the first 100 days following inauguration....

3 Errors North Carolina Executors Might Encounter Without Legal Counsel

Posted on: November 21st, 2016
When it comes to legal matters, it’s not in the executor’s best interest nor the best interest of the estate or its beneficiaries to rely on a DIY effort. The most important issue executors should understand is that executors are held personally responsible for probate errors and mistakes, regardless if the blunder was unintentional....

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. ...

Last-Minute Year-End Tax Deduction: IRA Charitable Rollover

Posted on: December 29th, 2015
If you plan to use the IRA Charitable Rollover provision for the 2015 tax year--make arrangements before year's end!...

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. ...

State Residency and Domicile in Estate Planning

Posted on: January 29th, 2015
Tax, probate, and asset protection laws in each state vary. Individuals might want to establish residency in a jurisdiction with attractive legislation for estate planning purposes, and they do not necessarily have to relocate in order to take advantage of the laws. ...

Portability Deadline Weeks Away for Estate Tax Exclusion

Posted on: December 11th, 2014
For estates of decedents who died in 2011 or 2012, the chance to elect portability of the decedent’s estate tax exemption will expire on December 31, 2014....

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.)...

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. ...

SCINs Excluded From Estates

Posted on: August 30th, 2013
Last month the IRS issued Chief Counsel Advice regarding how SCINs are recognized under federal estate tax law. SCINs (self-canceling installment notes) are used in estate planning to minimize gift tax burdens. ...

NC Estate Tax Repeal Retroactive

Posted on: August 1st, 2013
Earlier in 2013, Forbes ranked North Carolina as one of the top states in the nation “Where Not to Die”, reflecting the burden of the state estate tax. ...

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. ...

Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal to Push Estate Tax Back to 2009 Terms

Posted on: April 16th, 2013
Although Obama’s American Taxpayer Relief Act was said to make permanent changes, lawmakers had also advised that it was just the first step in a series of changes. ...

What Was Approved in the Fiscal Cliff?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013
Taking every last minute available in 2012 and then some, yesterday Congress approved a bill that will reduce the nation’s deficit by raising taxes for high income earners. ...

It’s Not Too Late to Use Your $5 Million Exemption!

Posted on: December 15th, 2012
Estate Planning attorneys all across the country are frantically working to help their clients utilize the $5.12 million gift and estate tax exemption before it disappears at year end. ...

The $5.12 Million Exemption – Use it or Lose it

Posted on: November 27th, 2012
Now, weeks past the election with nothing positive coming out of Congress, people of means are finally starting to realize that it makes sense to use some or all of the $5.12 million federal gift and estate tax exemption before it falls to $1million next year. ...

Don’t Fall Off the Fiscal Cliff Without an Estate Plan

Posted on: October 21st, 2012
Estate Planning Awareness Week comes during the final quarter of the year, just before the New Year shift known as the “fiscal cliff.” What is the fiscal cliff?...

Estate Tax Exclusion Amount for 2012 to Increase to $5,120,000

Posted on: October 20th, 2012
The IRS announced today that the amount exemption from estate taxes will increase next year. For an estate of any decedent dying during calendar year 2012, the basic exclusion from estate tax amount will be $5,120,000, up from $5,000,000 in 2011....

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. ...

IRS Procedure for Requesting Extension for Late 706

Posted on: February 12th, 2012
Beginning in January 1, 2011, the Internal Revenue Code provides for portability of the estate tax exemption between spouses. According to issued guidance so far from the IRS (Notice 2011-82 and IR-2011-97), ...

Estate and Gift Tax Bill Introduced in House

Posted on: November 23rd, 2011
On November 17, 2011, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced HR 3467, the “Sensible Estate Tax Act of 2011”. Along with changes to the estate tax, the bill includes many of Obama’s 2012 Fiscal Year Proposals with regard to gift and GST taxes. The bill includes the following:...

Democrats to Introduce Bill to Lower Estate Tax Exemption to $1 Million

Posted on: November 17th, 2011
This news courtesy of Financial Advisor Nat Harris (emphasis added): House Democrats plan to introduce a bill today to extend and overhaul the estate tax beyond 2012 in the opening salvo of what is likely to be a long and politically-charged debate next year....

IRS Releases Draft 2010 Estate Tax Return Instructions

Posted on: August 24th, 2011
The IRS has released draft instructions for the 2010 Form 706, the U.S. Estate Tax Return. Executors of estates of decedents who died in 2010 between the estate tax, with a $5 million exemption and 35% rate, or the modified carryover basis rules. The modified carryover basis law does not institute a tax, but limits a step up in basis for property acquired from a decedent to $1.3 million, with another $3 million for property passing to a spouse. ...

New NC Trusts and Estates Laws

Posted on: August 12th, 2011
In the 2011-2012 Session, the North Carolina General Assembly passed several laws affecting estate planning, trusts and probate: S.L. 2011-5 and S.L. 330- The reference to the Internal Revenue Code in G.S. 105-228.90(b)(1b) is changed from May 1, 2010 to January 1, 2011. ...

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. ...

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....

Estate Tax Claw Back – Don’t Worry About It, Says AALU

Posted on: February 4th, 2011
Since the enactment of TRA 2010 in December of last year, tax practitioners have been concerned that gifts made during 2011 and 2012 may, partially because of the way in which the current Federal Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Return (Form 706) ...

10 Tips from a Tax Lawyer for 2010 and 2011

Posted on: January 31st, 2011
Last week I was interviewed regarding income and estate taxes in 2010 and 2011 offering tips and insights based on what I see in my practice. Click here for the text and the podcast. ...

Obama Signs 2010 Tax Relief Act

Posted on: December 17th, 2010
This afternoon, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. This legislation, negotiated by the White House and select members of the House and Senate, provides for a short-term extension of tax cuts made in 2001....

Summary of the Tax Relief Proposal

Posted on: December 10th, 2010
The Senate Finance Committee has produced a summary of the Reid Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extends the Bush tax cuts for two years. ...

House to Obama on Tax Agreement – No Go!

Posted on: December 9th, 2010
The House has decided not to vote on the tax cut agreement Obama reached with Republican leaders earlier this week. Particularly objectionable was the proposed $5 million estate tax exemption. From CNN.com: ...

Obama, Republicans Reach Deal on Tax Cuts

Posted on: December 6th, 2010
The agreement includes a two year extension on the Bush income tax cuts, and with regard to the estate tax (from the Washington Post): "The deal also would revive the estate tax, but it would exempt inheritances of up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples. ...

Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2010 – Proposed Bill

Posted on: December 3rd, 2010
The legislative text and summary of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2010, released yesterday by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), is now available at the Finance Committee’s website http://finance.senate.gov/legislation/. A summary of some of the estate tax provisions is set out below....

2010 Executors – Are You Ready to Allocate that Basis?

Posted on: November 2nd, 2010
Today I was alerted to the existence of a draft of the IRS from that will be required to be filed for estates of decedents dying in 2010 with estates in excess of $1.3 million. IRS Form 8939 – Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Received from a Decedent. The due date is April 15, 2011....

“Tax Hike Prevention” Act of 2010 introduced in Senate

Posted on: September 20th, 2010
The Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010 was introduced in the Senate on September 13 as Senate Bill 3773 "to permanently extend the 2001 and 2003 tax relief provisions and to provide permanent AMT relief and estate tax relief, and for other purposes." ...

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....

NC Law on Intrepretation of Estate Tax Clauses for 2010 Decedents

Posted on: September 1st, 2010
This year, of course, there is no federal estate tax. However, many Wills and Trusts drafted in the past contain formula clauses based on the existence of the federal estate and/or generation-skipping transfer tax....

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....

The Latest Estate Tax Proposal

Posted on: June 27th, 2010
Friday’s Wall Street Journal had an article on the latest estate tax proposal, from independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Sherrod Brown of Ohio....

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)....

How about an estate tax-free IRA?

Posted on: June 3rd, 2010
With the federal estate tax returning next year at a rate of 55%, with only a $1 million exemption, planning to reduce estate tax should be on the forefront of the minds of those fortunate enough to have assets in excess of that amount....

Estate Tax Agreement Falls Apart

Posted on: May 18th, 2010
TheHill.com reported today that, according to Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), a deal in the works between Senate Democrats and Republicans on the estate tax has fallen apart....

Estate Tax Uncertainty – Forbes Says See a Lawyer

Posted on: May 15th, 2010
Thanks to a client for bringing this article to my attention: How To Protect Your Family From Estate Tax Uncertainty. It contains good advice, which I have highlighted in bold in the following text from the article:...

Progress on the Estate Tax?

Posted on: May 12th, 2010
More from theHill.com on the estate tax in Kyl: Deal on the estate tax in the offing: "Sources close to the matter told The Hill last week that lawmakers are looking to give taxpayers the option of prepaying their estate tax....

Movement on the Estate Tax?

Posted on: May 11th, 2010
On May 4, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) stated that members of Congress will discuss the estate tax along with a small business tax bill this week....

Senate discussing possible agreement on Estate Tax

Posted on: February 11th, 2010
Nothing has been decided yet, but here’s the scoop from TheHill.com as of February 9, 2010. At a minimum, the 2009 $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate would continue, effective January 1, 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:...

Estate Planning Alert

Posted on: January 8th, 2010
I just put this Estate Planning Alert on my firm’s website homepage, but thought it would also be appropriate for this blog:...

The Estate Tax is Gone (for Now) – Estate Plan Updates are Imperative

Posted on: January 4th, 2010
It’s 2010! As of January 1st, the federal estate tax is no more and it may mean that you should revise your estate plan and related documents. ...

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. ...

House Passes Estate Tax Bill

Posted on: December 3rd, 2009
As expected the House voted today to extend the current $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate. The final vote was 225-200. ...

US House to Vote on Estate Tax Bill Next Week

Posted on: November 30th, 2009
​This legislation would continue the current $3.5 million exemption and 45% rate, but does not include the spousal "portability." While the bill may very well pass in the House, Senate action is uncertain. ...

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....

Further Delay on Estate Tax “Reform”

Posted on: November 17th, 2009
​Coming as no surprise to me, anyway, an article on the website CQ Politics,House Likely to Delay Estate Tax Consideration, states that the House will likely postpone any movement on estate tax legislation until after Thanksgiving. ...

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. ...

Another Estate Tax Bill Introduced

Posted on: October 23rd, 2009
On October 15, 2009, Rep. Schrader (D. Oregon) introduced "The Small Business and Family Farm Estate Tax Relief Act of 2009" ( H.R. 3841), which would "repeal carryover basis for decedents dying in 2009, and "increase the estate tax exemption to $5,000,000" and "reduce the maximum estate and gift tax rate to 45 percent" for decedents dying after December 31, 2009....

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....

FLP gets 47.5% Estate Tax Discount

Posted on: September 30th, 2009
In addition to providing ease of management and significant asset protection, FLPs and (FLLCs) are still a excellent planning tool for obtaining gift and estate tax discounts (for minority interests and lack of marketability) – provided that the implementation and valuation are done correctly. ...

FLP Gift Discounts Alive and Well – for Now

Posted on: June 1st, 2009
In the recent case of Estate of Valeria M. Miller v. Commissioner; T.C. Memo. 2009-119; No. 5207-07 (27 May 2009), the U.S. Tax Court allowed a 35% discount for gifts of family limited partnership interests. No discount was permitted for the FLP interest owned by the decedent at her death....

“Green Book” Proposals on Estate and Income Tax

Posted on: May 19th, 2009
President Obama’s Green Book contains proposals for modifying the GRAT rules, eliminating valuation discounts for transfers of interest in many family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and increasing income tax rates and limiting deductions for high income taxpayers. ...

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). ...

Looks Like Estate Tax Here to Stay – Don’t Delay Planning

Posted on: January 23rd, 2009
There’s a couple of good recent articles on forbes.com – Dems Dedicated to Death Tax and Why You Need a Will. ...

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. ...

Deductibility of Estate Planning Legal Fees

Posted on: December 20th, 2008
Contrary to what many of my clients assume, legal fees for general estate planning are not deductible for income tax purposes....

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....

Estate Tax Changes Likely

Posted on: March 14th, 2008
From this article in the New York Times yesterday: Beginning next year, the federal estate tax exemption will increase to $3.5 million. This means that the tax would apply to only about 0.3 percent of people who die each year. Not exactly the average American....

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. ...

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....

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. ...