Posted on March 27, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Downsides of Do-It-Yourself Powers of Attorney

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. However, template […]

Posted on March 25, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Beneficiary Designation Reminder

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 […]

Posted on March 23, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Creditor Claims Against Decedents in North Carolina

creditor claims

One of the many responsibilities executors have is ensuring that the decedent’s debts are satisfied. Creditor claims against estates in North Carolina generally fall into categories of priority. The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts provides the Order of Priority of Claims in Estate Procedures: Property liens up to the amount of the property […]

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Invest or Gift This Year’s Tax Refunds?

During tax season, filers try to maximize their deductions. Proper tax planning helps minimize tax due, and could result in a sizable refund. Taxpayers who receive refunds can spend them however they choose, but what strategy offers the most benefits? Tax refunds might be spent frivolously or sensibly. Using the money toward a vacation could […]

Posted on March 14, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Inherited IRA Distributions Might Face Changes

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 […]

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Tax Issues to Consider When Settling an Estate

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. The executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate generally is responsible for handling tax matters. […]

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Vulnerability for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

DAPT court case

A recent court case involving a Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) revealed a possible threat to the protections provided by these powerful asset preservation tools. DAPTs generally are used when enhanced creditor protections are desired. Some jurisdictions also provide tax benefits for DAPTs. In January 2015, the Utah Supreme Court ruled in Dahl v. Dahl, […]

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Creating a North Carolina Succession Plan

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. A business owner could also leave shares in the business to surviving relatives […]

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

How to Plan for Growing LTC Insurance Costs

Annual inflation increases all citizens’ costs of living; however, long-term care (LTC) insurance costs rose considerably more than average in the past year. Premiums for LTC insurance in 2015 are 8.6% higher than rates in 2014, according to the Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index. Insurance conglomerate Genworth breaks down the median annual long-term care costs […]

Posted on February 18, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

When To Omit Beneficiaries From a Trust

removing beneficiaries

Depending on the goals of the individual, trusts might name family, friends, or charities as beneficiaries. However, certain types of trusts may be structured with no human or organizational beneficiaries at all. Why would someone structure a trust for no particular person’s benefit? Non-charitable purpose (NCP) trusts can be set up so that loved ones […]

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