LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Wealth Transfer Opportunities Targeted

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 uses of IDGTs (Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts...

IRS Allows Rollover of IRA from Estate to Spouse

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, or failure update when a named beneficiary dies...

Executors Held Personally Liable for Unpaid Taxes

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 rendered the estate insolvent, and it took place...

Estate Can Sue to Enforce Waiver of 401(k) Benefits

The recent U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals case Estate of Kensinger v. URL Pharma, Inc. [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] involved an lawsuit by a decedent's estate against an ERISA plan administrator and the decedent's ex-wife, who was beneficiary as beneficiary of...

NC POA Case Shows It's Better to Plan in Advance

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision affirmed the Superior Court verdict that an agent under a power of attorney did not breach his fiduciary duty to his aunt, Doris King or unjustly enrich himself at her expense. Albert v. Cowart, et al . Even though the defendants prevailed in this case...

The John Edwards Case - What About Gift Taxes?

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 closely, but I do know that central to the case...

7 Big Estate Planning Mistakes

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, particularly couples with young children, need to...

Most Americans Die Without a Will

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 a link to the NC law on Intestate Succession...

New Hawaii Law to Help Protect Assets of Married Couples - NC Law is Not Quite as Helpful

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 of states, approximately half in the nation,...

Keep Track of IRS Rules on IRAs and Other Retirement Accounts

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, the IRS recently has been cracking down on secret...

Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts on the Chopping Block?

Persons who have relied upon certain trusts as a means of limiting estate taxes upon their death might have cause for concern regarding an Obama administration budget proposal for 2013. While the current proposal remains very broad, and thus might be subject to change down the road, as it stands now...

The New 3.8% Investment Surtax - Will it Apply to You?

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 effect on January 1, 2013. This new surtax will...

Higher Taxes Are on the Horizon - 10 Planning Tips

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 Tips in a Time of Uncertainly . One thing the...

Illinois Ruling Strikes a Blow at Asset Protection Trusts

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 could not be held in contempt of court, the...

Trust Protectors in North Carolina Trusts

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 protectors." What follows is a brief discussion...

3 Year-End Giving Tips: Use All Your Deductions

The holiday season hits Americans just as the tax year is coming to an end. While most people are distracted with buying gifts for their friends and families, they could be enjoying tax deductions by making smart year-end gifts : Choose a qualified organization. When ready to make your gifts, choose...

What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Retirement Accounts

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 similar plan may rollover their funds into a Roth...

3 Asset Protection Tips for 2013

As North Carolina business owners and other taxpayers adjust to the effects of the 2012 American Tax Payer Relief Act , they are starting to focus on asset protection strategies at the same time as minimizing taxes to the fullest extent possible. Effective asset protection strategies in North...

North Carolina's Estate Tax: Dying Out?

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 are imposed on assets passed on to heirs. State...