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

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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Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)

An ILIT is just an irrevocable trust that holds life insurance. An ILIT is used to make the death benefit escape estate tax. Life insurance already escapes income tax. Avoiding both tax systems can make life insurance a very attractive investment for the future of your family. With the estate tax exemption just over $5 million and climbing, many would be client believe that estate planning and estate tax planning in particular are no longer…

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Beneficiary Controlled Trusts

What is a Beneficiary Controlled Trust? A Beneficiary Controlled Trust is an estate or gift tax planning technique where parents leave property to their children in a trust rather than outright. As the name implies, the child-beneficiary is the trustee of the trust. Thus, the Beneficiary Controlled Trust. Why are estate planners and their clients increasingly using Beneficiary Controlled Trusts? It is easier to explain why, if we first understand that there are essentially two…

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