Category Archives: Estates & Trusts

The Best Housewarming Gift for the Unmarried Couple: An Estate Plan

“Thinking too long about doing something is often the reason it never gets done.”  –Everyday Life Lessons In recent years, a growing number of Americans are deciding to cohabitate instead of getting married or remarried. Often, individuals of all ages, state they do not need an estate plan, either because they are not married or …

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The ERISA Fiduciary Advice Rule: What Happens on June 9?

This is an update on the upcoming effective date of the “fiduciary rule” or “fiduciary advice rule” (the “Rule”) that was issued under the US Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The Rule was published by the US Department of Labor (DOL) in April, 2016. The purpose of the Rule is to cause …

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Estate Tax Planning for Non-United States Citizen Spouses: QDOT-ting I’s and Crossing T’s

Individual and corporate citizens from countries around the world have moved to North Carolina and contributed materially to our state’s economic, educational, and cultural growth. Foreign direct investment (“FDI”) in North Carolina generally surpasses $1 billion annually, which boosts our state’s private sector employment by hundreds of thousands of workers. In recent years companies based …

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Estate Planning and Client Engagement Letters: Deloitte’s $500 Million Sentence

Accounting firms very often question the need to include certain provisions intended to limit their liability to their clients and sometimes ask whether the provision is even enforceable. Whether the provision will be enforced is uncertain due to the very limited case law addressing liability-limiting provisions in accountants’ client engagement letters, and there could be …

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November Election and Estate Planning

The Presidential election is around the corner. What does that mean for estate planning? Probably nothing, particularly if the Executive Branch and Congress remain split among the parties. In the past four years, a Democratic President and Republican Congress has resulted in no significant estate tax legislation. Thus, after 10 years or so of uncertainty …

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song sampling

Prince Dies Without A Will; Special Administrator Appointed

Although the quote: “Where there is a will, there is a way” is meant to encourage perseverance, it also seems appropriate in the estate planning realm as a Last Will and Testament can guide surviving family members as to the disposition of assets after a person’s death.  In the case of Prince, the quote is …

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Supreme Court Bankruptcy Structured Dismissals

SCOTUS Decision Affects Diversity Jurisdiction of Business Trusts

Many registered investment companies and real estate investment trusts are organized as business trusts. Certain states, such as Maryland, Delaware, and Massachusetts have been hospitable to such entities, and therefore are home to many of these entities. In some states, such as Massachusetts, the entities are formed as common-law trusts, while in others there is a statutory …

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The Artist’s Legacy – Business and Legal Planning Issues

Photographers face unique issues that must be carefully considered to ensure a continued market for the creative output and to preserve the artistic reputation. Prudently managed business affairs will minimize problems commonly encountered when closing down a studio and during the transition of business affairs from the photographer’s life to the photographer’s estate. First, there …

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Same Sex Marriage and Tax Law…A Rough Landscape

Another tax season is upon us, and the hardships of complying with another annual tax return filing requirement affects most of us. However, for same sex couples, the hardships are further exacerbated by the different tax laws at the state level. At the time this post is published, same-sex marriage bans remain in place in …

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2014 Year-End Illinois Estate Planning: It’s Time for a Careful Review

As 2014 comes to a close, now is the perfect time for careful planning to address the income, estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes that can directly affect you.  In addition to making sure your estate plan is up to date, making a few important decisions now can reduce your tax liability later. Transfer Tax Exemption …

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