Posted on August 25, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Asset Protection in Second Marriages

north carolina prenuptial agreements

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. A review with an asset protection lawyer prior to marriage helps address risks and […]

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Estate Plan Update: New Life Insurance Option

Life insurance can be a great estate planning tool. Payments generally do not go through probate, loved ones may not need to struggle financially after one’s death, and proceeds can be protected from creditors. A new option called a reversionary annuity may prompt individuals to update their estate plans. Life Insurance and Annuity Proceeds Reversionary […]

Posted on August 19, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Increasing Trust Income Distributions

power to adjust

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. Although the type and governing law of a trust may impose restrictions on […]

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

North Carolina Durable Powers of Attorney

durable power of attorney

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. Typically, we draft DPOA’s so that the agent named in the document has authority to act on behalf of the principal immediately […]

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

When Beneficiary Designations are Void

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. A Last Will and Testament may be updated to reflect the testator’s wishes, but assets like life insurance and retirement accounts are controlled […]

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Consequences of No Digital Asset Protection

  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. Email and online bank accounts are just two digitally accessible types of assets with uniquely different rules governing user access. Email services providers have […]

Posted on July 15, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Chatham County, NC Estate Administration Changes

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. One example of the revised requirements is that all out-of-state executors must be bonded unless all beneficiaries formally waive the requirement, regardless of what the […]

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Debt Inheritance: Credit Cards, Tax, and Other Liabilities

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. Debt manifests in different ways. If a decedent required expensive medical treatments or end-of-life […]

Posted on July 12, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Repeal of the Permanent Federal Estate Tax?

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.) Now, less than two years since the estate tax was made indefinite, the House of Representatives may choose to repeal […]

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Posted on July 11, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Non-profit 501(c)(3) Application Now Easier

Filing for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status has streamlined to a shorter process, both in time and in required paperwork. For those interested in filing for non-profit status in North Carolina and around the country, the new system is expected to help charitable organizations become established in less time. What’s different about the 501(c)(3) application process? Less […]

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