Video Wills in North Carolina: Video Yes, Will No

Video wills look really cool in the movies.  And they are increasing in popularity, especially as the number of people with their degree in TV law are deciding this is the way to go.  And of course technology makes it easy to do.  And it is cool!  But TV and movies notwithstanding, video wills are NOT valid in North Carolina or, for that matter, in most other states.  Read more

Using An ILIT For Estate-Tax-Free Liquidity

No one likes paying the estate tax.  But the estate tax is especially problematic for individuals that own valuable but illiquid assets.  Common scenarios where this is an issue is a person who owns their own business, who owns stock in a family-owned or other closely-held business, or who has substantial real estate holdings.  These assets can trigger a large estate tax liability, but present heirs with no assets that can be easily sold to pay the tax—or at least no assets that they would want to sell to pay the tax. Read more

Common IRA Beneficiary Designation Errors Part 1

Other than a home, IRAs and other ERISA-qualified retirement accounts are the most substantial portion of most people’s assets.  Yet they receive inadequate attention in many estate plans.  The law requires that the custodians of these accounts (the financial institution where the account is) provide for beneficiary designations and that the account custodians make an effort to see that you complete the designation.  So completing the designation must be all you need to do.  After all, we know that the government is always looking out for your best interests.  Right? Read more

Revocable Living Trust- Why Many Couples Should Not Put Their Residence In an RLT

As we have discussed elsewhere, RLTs (revocable living trusts) can be quite useful estate planning devices, though they are not the solution for everyone.  Estate planning almost invariably involves trade-offs, a given option will have pros and cons.  Read more

North Carolina Repeals Estate Tax

As part of the tax changes implemented by the Legislature, North Carolina joins the growing number of states to repeal the estate tax.  The Tax Simplification and Reduction Act signed into law by Governor McCrory provides (among other things) that North Carolina will assess no estate tax on decedents dying on or after January 1 of 2013.  North Carolina has no Read more