Estate and Elder Law

Recent Posts

New Hawaii Law to Help Protect Assets of Married Couples - NC Law is Not Quite as Helpful
Posted on 6 Jul 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

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. Hawaii is among a group... Read More

Keep Track of IRS Rules on IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts
Posted on 9 Jul 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Owners of individual retirement accounts might face increased scrutiny by the IRS in the near future, posing the danger of hefty penalties for account mistakes that have previously gone unnoticed. As this recent online Wall Street Journal article notes... Read More

Higher Taxes Are on the Horizon - 10 Planning Tips
Posted on 31 Jul 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Despite all the wrangling in Congress, we are still facing income and estate tax increases in 2013, now only five months away. See if you might be able to utilize any of these planning tips from the Accounting Today article Midyear Tax Planning: Top 10... Read More

Illinois Ruling Strikes a Blow at Asset Protection Trusts
Posted on 7 Nov 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

In Rush University v. Sessions, et al [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a transfer to a Cook Islands trust was per se fraudulent. Despite the holding, since the grantor was deceased and therefore... Read More

Wealth Transfer Opportunities Targeted
Posted on 16 Feb 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Wealthy folks looking to transfer assets to younger generations in tax-advantaged ways should act now, as the Obama administration is seeking to limit several favorite techniques of estate planning attorneys. On the chopping block are the most commons... Read More

7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes
Posted on 16 May 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

This recent Forbes article 7 Major Errors In Estate Planning is a must read for everyone, and most errors discussed apply to those with estates below $1 million. Items 1 through 3 apply to virtually everyone, while those with large insurance policies... Read More

Executors Held Personally Liable for Unpaid Taxes
Posted on 3 Apr 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

In a recent federal District Court case, the co-executors of a decedent's estate were held to be personally liable for the decedents unpaid income taxes under the federal priority statute because they distributed assets of the estate, the distribution... Read More

North Carolina's Estate Tax: Dying Out?
Posted on 12 Feb 2013 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Most of the country's attention has been on federal estate tax changes made by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 . Little focus centered on state estate taxes. North Carolina is among 21 states where state-level estate or inheritance taxes... Read More

Most Americans Die Without a Will
Posted on 23 May 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

I came across a recent article in the Yahoo Finance Blog, Half of Americans With Kids Set to Die Without a Will . If you are a North Carolina resident, what happens to your estate if you don't have a will (you die intestate, in legal terms)? Here's... Read More

What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Retirement Accounts
Posted on 23 Jan 2013 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

The fiscal cliff deal has not only affected income and estate taxes, but it has also changed how retirement rollovers are handled. Roth Rollovers The new provision gives freedom to retirement account holders. Anyone with a 401(k) , 403(b), or a... Read More

The John Edwards Case - What About Gift Taxes?
Posted on 14 May 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Yesterday [May 8th] I blogged about North Carolina's controversial Amendment One, which ended up passing by a large margin. I also have some thoughts about another matter in the headlines - the John Edwards trial. I have not been following the case... Read More

Keep Track of IRS Rules on IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts
Posted on 9 Jul 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Owners of individual retirement accounts might face increased scrutiny by the IRS in the near future, posing the danger of hefty penalties for account mistakes that have previously gone unnoticed. As this recent online Wall Street Journal article notes... Read More

The New 3.8% Investment Surtax - Will it Apply to You?
Posted on 20 Jul 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

Now that the health care law has been declared constitutional, the remaining provisions will be going into effect. One little known provision is a new 3.8% investment income surtax, also called the health care surtax or the Medicare tax; it will go into... Read More

Trust Protectors in North Carolina Trusts
Posted on 4 Dec 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

North Carolina recently expanded its law regarding trust "power holders," persons named in a trust, other than trustee, who are given certain powers over the trust and/or trustee. Traditionally, such power holders have been called "trust... Read More

IRS Allows Rollover of IRA from Estate to Spouse
Posted on 2 Apr 2012 by Gregory Herman-Giddens

As I tell my clients and audiences during presentations, one should never name one's estate as beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement account. If the estate is the beneficiary, whether from a purposeful designation, failure to name a beneficiary... Read More