Posted on December 18, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

3 Signs You Should Update Your Retirement Plan

retirement planning

Reports continue to show Americans are not saving enough for retirement. Some retirement account owners may miss out on opportunities that could help grow their assets, even if they are not contributing suggested amounts. TrustCounsel’s tax attorneys created a short and simple checklist that might help you determine if your retirement plans need revising: Legislation […]

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Successor Trustee Responsibilities

When a trustee passes away or becomes incapacitated, a successor trustee must step forward. In addition to the trustee’s duties, a successor trustee is responsible for presenting an affidavit or certificate of trust that provides proof of their legal power over the trust. The successor trustee must also keep records of income received, expenses paid, […]

Posted on December 15, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Year-End Gifting to Charities

The spirit of the holiday season is a generous one. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, “The last few months of the year make up what is commonly called the Giving Season for the nonprofit community.” A 2012 report shows that non-profits receive most of their donations between October and December every year. […]

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

North Carolina 2014 Tax Year Changes to Note

Individuals and businesses across North Carolina are approaching the end of the 2014 tax year. Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hill review below a few income tax legislation amendments for the 2014 tax year. Some affect tax rates and deductions for all taxpayers in our state. Certain deductions, such as allowances for retirees and businesses, […]

Posted on December 11, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Portability Deadline Weeks Away for Estate Tax Exclusion

estate tax portability deadline

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. Estates valued over $5.34 million owe federal estate tax of 40% on the amount in excess of the threshold; this amount is adjusted annually for inflation, with the […]

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Estate Planning for Healthcare Costs in Retirement

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. If not planned for properly, families who take on the burden […]

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Estate Planning and Tax Refunds for Art

  Art collections require specialized estate and tax planning. Without proper planning, a collection acquired over a lifetime could translate into tax debt for surviving heirs or become lost to creditor claims. A recent court case addressed the impact of an individual’s fractional ownership of art holdings and how these are taxed. Estate of Elkins […]

Posted on November 17, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

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

wine collections

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? Our North Carolina asset protection attorneys addressed preserving […]

Posted on November 13, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

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

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. Federal U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriages in a lawsuit filed by clergy […]

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Real Estate in Your IRA

retirement real estate

Some Individual Retirement Account (IRA) owners may choose to buy real estate with their IRA. Perhaps the property is intended for a retirement home in the future, as an investment, or for other reasons. Using an IRA to purchase real estate requires advance planning. When done properly, penalties can be avoided. Using one’s IRA to […]

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