• Patrick D. Newton is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law.

Do I have to file Gift Tax returns for the gifts to my Insurance Trust?

Filing a gift tax return for an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), even if not technically required because all gifts are below the annual exclusion, is a good idea. Benefits: Filing starts the statute of limitations running on the IRS to audit the gift. Filing allows you to decide affirmatively whether Generation Skipping Transfer Tax (GST) exemption is allocated. Allocation of GST to an ILIT The GST Annual Exclusion does not apply to a gift…

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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Planning your Estate

From time to time, it’s good to review why having a complete, up-to-date set of estate planning documents is so important. A holistic estate plan not only confirms your own desired goals, it can provide valuable insights to your friends and family of the values you believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately not all plans are created equal. Here are five common estate planning mistakes to avoid: 1. Not having a plan Every…

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North Carolina Living Wills

Your Living Will is your statement of your wishes on whether to pull the plug if you are in an end-of-life situation. While the form does not appoint anyone to make decisions for you, you can allow your Health Care Agent under your Health Care Power of Attorney to “override” your Living Will. Living Will Prevails You can complete your Living Will to keep the decision to pull the plug just between you and your…

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Trust Protector

I am a proponent of Trust Protectors to assist a trust to accomplish its goals.  The concept of a Trust Protector is to grant someone who is not a trustee or beneficiary certain powers over the trust.  These powers often include: The power to remove and appoint trustees The power to make modifications to the trust in light of changes in law, particularly tax law The power to correct errors in the drafting The power to settle disputes…

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Spousal Gift Planning

People with potential taxable estates should consider maximum utilization of the Annual Exclusion. The Annual Exclusion is an amount a person (the Donor) can give to another person (the Donee) without any gift tax consequences. The current Annual Exclusion amount is $14,000 per Donee. So you could give 10 people $14,000 each, every year, without incurring any gift tax and not using your Lifetime Exemption (which allows up to $5+ million in additional gifting before…

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