- Advance Directives
- Asset Protection
- Business Succession
- Charitable Gift Planning
- Elder Care
- Estate Planning
- Estate Tax
- Financial Planning
- Fraud & Financial Abuse
- Gift Tax
- Health Care
- Income Tax
- Life Insurance
- Living Trusts
- NC Income Tax
- North Carolina Department of Revenue
- Nursing Homes
- Pending Legislation
- Powers of Attorney
- Qualified Plans
- Real Property
- Social Security
- Special Needs Planning
- Tax Fraud
Trust Trend: Make Heirs Wait
Posted on: February 20th, 2018
How long will it take you to receive your inheritance in North Carolina? If our state follows a national trend, the time may be growing longer. ...
4 Signs That Assets are at Risk to Lawsuits in NC
Posted on: May 3rd, 2017
North Carolina is often referred to as a debtor-friendly state due to the many statutory creditor protections state law provides. However, even with these protections there are individuals and businesses who may not structure assets properly to take advantage of available protections....
Asset Protection Risks From Prior Marriages
Posted on: August 25th, 2016
Remarriage after divorce or the death of a spouse poses unique issues that individuals entering a first marriage generally do not have to navigate....
Asset Protection Failures
Posted on: April 29th, 2016
Accumulating assets takes time and effort; protecting assets properly requires both as well. Here are various factors that could ruin a plan and risk asset loss....
2015 Top 5 States for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
Posted on: May 21st, 2015
For the past six years, attorney Steve Oshins has ranked the states that offer Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPTs). The chart generally is ranked through weighted variables including fraudulent transfer standard, pre-existing torts exceptions, spousal support, child support, tax, and statutes of limitations for past and future creditors. ...
Vulnerability for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
Posted on: March 2nd, 2015
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. DAPTsgenerally are used when enhanced creditor protections are desired. Some jurisdictions also provide tax benefits for DAPTs....
Creating a North Carolina Succession Plan
Posted on: February 26th, 2015
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....
How Asset Protection is Different in 2015
Posted on: January 19th, 2015
Wealth preservation is an ongoing process. How, when, and where assets are transferred or acquired affect protections. As the New Year begins, individuals can take a step back and review legislation changes that affect our year ahead and those to come:...
3 Things to Know About Perpetual Trusts
Posted on: January 16th, 2015
Perpetual trusts, also known asdynasty trusts, protect assets for the benefit of future generations. Some perpetual trusts are common trusts that allow multiple generations to benefit at the same time. ...
New Creditor Protections for NC Properties
Posted on: January 9th, 2015
Effective January 1, 2015, property owned by married couples in North Carolina will enjoy creditor protections afforded to tenancy by the entireties property even if the property is transferred to one or more trusts. ...
3 Signs You Should Update Your Retirement Plan
Posted on: December 18th, 2014
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. ...
Successor Trustee Responsibilities
Posted on: December 17th, 2014
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. ...
Estate Planning for Collectibles: Wine, Art, Cars & More
Posted on: November 17th, 2014
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?...
Top 5 States for Dynasty Trusts
Posted on: November 4th, 2014
Dynasty trusts offer asset protection and estate and generation-tax skipping tax avoidance over many generations. Three years ago attorney Steve Oshins started a ranking system of dynasty trusts. ...
Access to One’s Digital Estate
Posted on: October 25th, 2014
More states are starting to address a growing area of an individual’s estate: Digital assets. Last year North Carolina was slated to amend the durable power of attorney and estate administration laws to include power to manage digital assets, but the provisions did not pass. ...
Protect Parents’ Assets
Posted on: September 8th, 2014
As parents age, the risk of health problems grows. TheSandwich Generation—those caring for both their children and their parents, may experience the stresses and expenses of elder care, and then more issues later with probate of a deceased parent’s estate if no advance plans are made....
Asset Protection and Marriage
Posted on: September 5th, 2014
In the process of legally dissolving a marriage, the fate of assets may not match a spouse’s intentions. What should couples know about spousal claims and providing for children? ...
Asset Protection in Second Marriages
Posted on: August 25th, 2014
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. ...
Estate Plan Update: New Life Insurance Option life insurance trust
Posted on: August 22nd, 2014
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. ...
Consequences of No Digital Asset Protection
Posted on: July 22nd, 2014
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....
Debt Inheritance: Credit Cards, Tax, and Other Liabilities
Posted on: July 14th, 2014
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....
Tax Requirements for North Carolina Trusts
Posted on: July 10th, 2014
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....
Timing Prenuptial Agreements
Posted on: July 3rd, 2014
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? ...
Protect Assets: Liability or Malpractice Insurance May Not Be Enough
Posted on: June 26th, 2014
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. ...
Named in a Power of Attorney for a Foreign Account? FBAR Rules Required
Posted on: June 10th, 2014
Individuals may or may not know if they are listed as an agent of a power of attorney, but they are still subject to Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) requirements....
Tennessee is #3 for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts in 2014
Posted on: May 27th, 2014
A year ago Tennessee tied for the fourth spot in Steve Oshins’ AnnualDomestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings. Last summer Oshinsupdated the rankings after pending legislation failed to pass, and Tennessee jumped a spot—tied for third with Ohio....
Planning a Prenuptial Agreement in North Carolina
Posted on: March 17th, 2014
Prenuptial agreements are designed to protect the property of one or both spouses in the event of a divorce or death. With recent changes to spouses’ elective shares in North Carolina, engaged couples have more complex legislation to review now. ...
Protect Assets for the Elderly
Posted on: February 27th, 2014
TrustCounsel’s Chapel Hill estate planning and elder law attorneys Gregory Herman-Giddens and Kristin Burrows present “A Lawyer’s Perspective: Financial and Legal Strategies and Planning, and Assistance Paying for Long-Term Care” at the Senior Center in Pittsboro, North Carolina on March 4, 2014. The workshop is coordinated by the Chatham County Council on Aging....
Step-Parents and Step-Children in Estate Planning
Posted on: January 24th, 2014
Estate planning for blended families is critical to ensure that assets are distributed as intended. A spouse’s family members are not included under North Carolina intestacy laws. Without a will, individuals who die in the Tar Heel State may not effectively leave assets to non-blood relatives....
North Carolina Ranks in Top 15 for Trust Decanting
Posted on: January 22nd, 2014
Attorney Steven J. Oshins, the force behind the annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust and Dynasty Trust Rankings, released the inaugural Trust Decanting Rankings Chart. ...
Estate Planning and Real Estate Titles in North Carolina
Posted on: January 21st, 2014
Some families attempt to manage their own estate planning. For those who own a home and plan to eventually leave the home to children or other relatives, they may change the way the property title is held in an effort to make the transfer of ownership easier upon their death. However, without the counsel of a North Carolina estate planning or tax lawyer, these do-it-yourself methods may result in significant tax liability for the children....
Mistakes in Beneficiary Designations
Posted on: January 3rd, 2014
Beneficiary designations are an important tool in estate planning – one must always remember that their terms trump the distributions provided in a decedent’s Will. Retirement accounts, life insurance, and other assets offer owners the power to entitle individuals to these assets upon the owner’s death. Errors could cost a surviving family member their expected share of a loved one’s estate, pass assets to an unintended party, incite family conflict, or cause unnecessary tax burdens for beneficiaries....
Elective Share Changes in North Carolina
Posted on: November 5th, 2013
Provisions in a Will in favor of a spouse are revoked in divorce in North Carolina, however beneficiary designations are not revoked. Beneficiary designations for life insurance policies, as well as retirement accounts must be updated in order to prevent an ex-spouse—or a soon-to-be ex-spouse—from being legally entitled to these assets. ...
Equitable Distribution Process in North Carolina
Posted on: October 25th, 2013
Claims for equitable distribution in North Carolina are only valid if they are made after the date of separation and before the date of divorce. When filed timely, the process starts with identifying marital and separate property....
Top 5 States for Dynasty Trusts
Posted on: October 17th, 2013
Dynasty trusts in North Carolina offer creditor and asset protection for future generations while at the same time legally bypassing certain taxes. ...
BVI Accounts Under Scrutiny in 2014
Posted on: September 23rd, 2013
A new law will reveal more details about United States taxpayers who maintain accounts in the British Virgin Islands. Starting in 2014, the BVI will need to provide account information about US taxpayers in order to comply with the new legislation....
3 Things to Include in a North Carolina Prenuptial Agreement
Posted on: August 25th, 2013
Creating a North Carolina prenuptial (premarital) agreement for engaged couples empowers both partners with the ability to decide what happens to their respective property in the event of divorce, a spouse’s death or incapacitation....
Updated: Top States for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts 2013
Posted on: August 2nd, 2013
Our asset protection lawyers in Chapel Hill shared Steve Oshins’ Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings earlier this year, and now there is a mid-year update:...
Estate Planning Tips for Second Homes
Posted on: June 19th, 2013
North Carolina coastal properties from Corolla down to Sunset Beach are attractive investment homes that can be rented out during the summer season, used as a winter escape, and eventually a primary retirement home. ...
Creditors Can Still Collect From Foreign Trusts
Posted on: May 13th, 2013
Foreign trusts, or offshore trusts, are popular asset protection tools as they are notorious for providing superior protection from creditors. However, foreign trusts are not creditor-proof. ...
Top States for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
Posted on: May 7th, 2013
Steve Oshin’s 2013 Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings were released and show the highest scoring state for DAPTs is Nevada....
Ways to Protect an Inheritance from Creditors
Posted on: April 30th, 2013
Bequeathing assets involves more than naming beneficiaries. Creating a proper estate plan offers individuals and families the ability to protect their assets for loved ones after they’re gone. Unexpected claims could drain accounts and threaten properties that were intended to be passed on to beneficiaries. ...
3 Tips for National Estate Planning Awareness Week
Posted on: October 16th, 2012
October 15-21, 2012 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. The country-wide campaign focuses on educating individuals about the importance of planning their estates, and the risks they face if they have not yet created an estate plan. ...
Illinois Ruling Strikes a Blow at Asset Protection Trusts
Posted on: October 1st, 2012
In Rush University v. Sessions, et al, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a transfer to a Cook Islands trust was per se fraudulent. ...
NC Dept. of Revenue issues Directive on $50k Business Income Deduction
Posted on: June 11th, 2012
North Carolina has a new law, G.S. 105-134.6(b)(22), that grants business owners a deduction of up to $50,000 of their net business income from NC taxable income....
New Hawaii Law to Help Protect Assets of Married Couples – NC Law is Not Quite as Helpful
Posted on: May 31st, 2012
Hawaii is on the verge of a step forward in the field of asset protection, with pending legislation awaiting the Governor’s signature that, if signed, would extend the shield of creditor protection available to married couples. ...
The Seven Levels of Asset Protection
Posted on: October 18th, 2011
Today I participated in a teleconference on Asset Protection Planning. Although the program was a bit basic for me, speaker Carl Waldman. Esq. included a helpful chart of the Levels of Asset Protection, which I have expanded on here:...
Nevada Asset Protection Trust Laws Improved
Posted on: October 3rd, 2011
Nevada’s new Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) laws became effective October 1, 2011. One new feature is the ability to move a DAPT that was established in another state to Nevada without having to start the statute of limitations period over....
President of Building Company Liable for Negligence Despite Acting on Behalf of Company
Posted on: August 26th, 2011
The January 2011 North Carolina Court of Appeals case of White v. Collins Bldg., Inc. involved purchasers of beach house who filed a negligence claim against several defendants, including the building company’s president and sole shareholder, Edwin E. Collins, Jr., alleging that he failed to properly supervise the construction of their home, leading to sustained water, window, and plumbing damage....
CCRC Residents Should Consider Liability Insurance
Posted on: May 26th, 2011
Even for those who don’t have umbrella liability insurance coverage, homeowners insurance policies normally provide general liability coverage. This insurance will help protect your assets if a guest is injured in your home or your dog bites someone, for example....
Airplane Kills Jogger Story offers Example of Necessity of Estate Planning
Posted on: March 18th, 2010
Most everyone in the country has heard about the Georgia husband and father, Robert Gary Jones, who was killed by an airplane while jogging on the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. ...
Asset Protection for the Rest of Us
Posted on: March 5th, 2010
Members of America’s middle class should be a lot more concerned about protecting their assets from creditors than from the so called "death tax." ...
Inherited IRAs are protected in bankruptcy – sometimes
Posted on: February 16th, 2010
In a recent ruling, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Minnesota held that an inherited IRA was protected from the debtor’s creditors under federal law. In re: Nessa, 105 AFTR 2d 2010-XXXX, 01/11/2010. ...
Disclaimers can Protect Assets in Bankruptcy
Posted on: September 24th, 2009
In a case interpreting Arizona law, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held in Gaughan v. Costas that a disclaimer filed prior to declaring bankruptcy was valid and effective since the disclaimer was permitted under state law. In re Costas, 555 F.3d 790 (9th Cir. 2009)....
Need a Real Life Example of Why to do Asset Protection Planning?
Posted on: September 11th, 2009
Rich Rodriguez, the football coach for the University of Michigan, has been sued for $3.9 million due to a loan default. Rodriguez and partners formed an limited liability company, The Legends of Blackburg LLC, to develop a condo community in Virginia. ...
Homes and Cars in Living Trusts – Check With Your Insurer
Posted on: January 8th, 2009
Revocable living trusts are a common estate planning tool for avoiding probate. It is not uncommon for a home to be transferred to the trust for that purpose, as well as occasionally motor vehicles....
Own Rental Real Estate? You Need an LLC to Protect Yourself
Posted on: December 9th, 2008
Anyone who owns rental real estate in his or her individual name is taking a tremendous risk. ...
FDIC Bank Account Insurance Coverage Calculator
Posted on: October 10th, 2008
The recent Bailout law increased the FDIC insurance coverage for bank accounts to $250,000 per person, per bank. ...
What Property is Exempt from Creditors’ Claims in NC?
Posted on: October 8th, 2008
If you were ever to be sued, what property would be protected in the event of a judgment against you? ...
Family FLP/FLLC Checklist – Make Sure You do it Right
Posted on: February 9th, 2008
Family Limited Partnerships, or more commonly now, Family Limited Liability Companies, are great vehicles for management and protection of family businesses, real estate, and investments. ...
Nevada Offers Estate Planning Advantages
Posted on: May 22nd, 2007
North Carolina is not known for its attractive estate planning and asset protection laws, but NC residents can avail themselves of certain out-of-state planning strategies that can provide significant estate tax savings and creditor protection....