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

Fund your Living Trust to avoid Probate

I often meet with people who wish to avoid probate. Probate is a public court proceeding required to transfer a person’s assets at death. Probate can be lengthy and expensive. All assets owned in individual name (or jointly without survivorship) can only transfer to your loved ones through probate. Ways to avoid probate include survivorship rights, beneficiary designation and use of a trust. Assets owned jointly with right of survivorship automatically transfer to the survivor at death, but the…

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Trust Owned Life Insurance Reviews

If you are the Grantor or Owner/Trustee of a Trust Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) policy, chances are that you have not reviewed your trust or the insurance policies owned by the trust on a periodic basis to make sure to make sure that the insurance policy is not at risk. In fact, many policies have not been reviewed since their initial purchase. IS YOUR POLICY AT RISK? Rapidly evolving developments in insurance products and features…changes…

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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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