Posted on April 9, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Last-Minute Estate Planning in North Carolina

Forbes cited a survey in 2014 that revealed 51% of Americans aged 55 to 64 do not have an estate plan. Sometimes a health crisis prompts an individual to create a plan for bequeathing their assets. However, hastily making changes to an estate plan could create problems. Changing a will at the last minute could […]

Posted on April 7, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Tax Planning for North Carolina Business Successions

While transferring business interests can have tax consequences, structuring a business succession plan with regard to tax law can help minimize tax burdens associated with business transfers to surviving family members when a business owner or partner dies. The Tax Foundation, a tax policy research group, ranks North Carolina Business Tax Climate Index as the […]

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

10 Things to Ask Your Accountant: Small Biz Webinar

Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hill recently reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of investing or gifting your tax refund, tax issues when settling an estate, and ways to protect yourself from tax preparer fraud. As the tax season filing deadline fast approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a community service through a webinar. Tomorrow […]

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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, […]

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