Points to Discuss with Your Aging Parent

Your parent is getting on in age, but you don’t have a clear idea if there is a plan in place for their care.  It is a difficult topic to broach; no one wants to talk about death and the financial realities that come with aging.  Instead of having a proactive conversation early in a (more…)

Reasons to take your social security benefit early

Receiving your social security benefits at an earlier age will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Because you will be taking it at a younger age, your monthly payment will be smaller than if you had waited but the aggregate payout overtime will be the same amount. To see how the (more…)

Avoid These Executor Errors

Executors are held personally responsible for estate administration errors. This is true even if the mistake was made due to negligence or ignorance. This strict standard is one reason you should consider choosing an executor with experience or familiarity with estate administration matters. If you are the personal representative of an estate in North Carolina, (more…)

What is a Trust Protector?

A trust protector is a person or entity other than the trustee or trust grantor that has certain powers over a trust. Trust protectors are also referred to as “power holders” under North Carolina law. Trust protectors can provide a system of checks and balances for your trust. If you don’t want your trustee to (more…)

How Are Trusts Administered?

Trust administration requires a lot of work and some level of expertise. A trustee can be a professional, but a trust grantor can also choose a family member or friend as a trustee. Trusts can be made during a grantor’s life or at death. Either way, the trustee has to carry out the grantor’s intent (more…)

Living Probate in North Carolina

Living probate is an option available in North Carolina and a handful of other states. It allows the testator to have a court determine the validity of their will during their lifetime, rather than after their death. The benefits of living probate are that the testator can feel more certain that their wishes will be (more…)

When Are Trusts Void Due to Public Policy?

You can accomplish a long list of objectives with a trust. You can leave property to a beneficiary, while still limiting their access to the funds unless certain conditions are met. You may only permit the trustee to give distributions at certain times or for certain purposes. You can also establish an incentive trust, which (more…)

3 Things to Consider When Your Special Needs Child Turns 18

Having a special needs child has many challenges. One of the toughest challenges faced by many parents is knowing how to best care for their special needs child as they reach adulthood. There are many areas that need consideration when planning for the transition of a special needs child to adulthood. Let’s take a look (more…)

How Are Assets Valued During Probate?

Asset valuation is an important part of the estate administration process. Some assets are easy to appraise, while others may require expert appraisals. The asset needs an appraised value so that the heir is aware of their cost basis in the asset. If the heir later sells the asset, they can claim a gain or (more…)

The rise of bankruptcy in the lives of aging Americans

The golden years are turning into bankruptcy red for many retired and aging Americans. While medical advances are keeping seniors alive longer, the associated healthcare costs in the quest for longevity are being off-loaded onto the older individual at a time when reduced income is a hallmark of senior living.  Older Americans are increasingly filing (more…)