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 […]

Posted on July 10, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Tax Requirements for North Carolina Trusts

In many states, an important factor in determining whether the trust is taxable is where the beneficiaries, settlor, and trustees are domiciled. A tax attorney may help determine how trust assets might need to be structured respective to a state’s tax laws to achieve the most favorable tax treatment. Do you need to pay income […]

Posted on July 3, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Timing Prenuptial Agreements

north carolina prenup

Marriage offers the union of love, and it also involves the merging of assets, new tax requirements, and legal entitlements. As prospective spouses navigate asset management prior to their wedding day, how far in advance should prenuptial agreements be prepared? What’s the right timing for premarital agreements in North Carolina? Long Engagements Engaged couples with […]

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Supplemental Needs Trusts: Critical Trustee Duty

A supplemental needs trust is funded with third party assets for the benefit of a disabled individual. (Special needs trusts are funded with the disabled person’s assets.) Both of these trusts help preserve a disabled person’s assets and their eligibility for certain public benefits programs. Just as with any trust, supplemental needs trusts have distribution […]

Posted on June 26, 2014 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Protect Assets: Liability or Malpractice Insurance May Not Be Enough

business asset protection

Having liability or malpractice insurance may be a requirement in some professions, and in other cases these policies are obtained on a voluntary basis. Depending on the line of work, liability insurance policies may be an expensive annual cost. Even though they minimize the risk of financial loss, in some cases, these policies are insufficient […]

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