Posts by James E. Hickmon, JD, MBA, CFP®
What Exactly Is Estate Planning And When Do We Need It?
Estate planning encompasses a wide variety of subject matter, from how your assets may be titled and who is the beneficiary of your insurance to IRAs and 401(k)s, to the creation of business entities, the establishment of buy-sell agreements, the creation of trusts and gifting during your lifetime. The process allows you, rather than a…Read More
Is Estate Planning Just For What Happens After I Die Or Can Estate Planning Benefit Me During My Lifetime?
In my experience, it is often much more important to plan in anticipation of incapacity during your lifetime. For example, what would happen if one spouse becomes incapacitated, needing to go into a nursing home and the other spouse needs to sell the primary residence during that time? Without a plan in place, such as…Read More
IRS Issues Inflation Adjustments for Transfer Taxes Related to Estates and Trusts
In Rev. Proc 2022-38, the IRS provided inflation adjustments for various IRS Code provisions for taxable year 2023, including many relevant to trusts, estates, and gifts. The 2023 inflation adjustments include: The basic estate and gift tax exclusion amount (and the generation skipping transfer tax amount) will increase to $12,920,000 from the 2002 exemption of…Read More
Towards the end of the year, some families consider making financial gifts to others as part of their year-end tax planning. As part of your estate plan, you may consider sharing your financial success with your children, grandchildren, or other loved ones before your death. First, let’s review gifts that aren’t taxable. Gifts that are…Read More
Planning for Beneficiaries with Disabilities
Planning for Beneficiaries with Disabilities Estate planning is important for all families to ensure that an individual’s wishes are honored after they pass away. When the guardian of a person with disabilities or primary caretaker is making arrangements for their own planning, it’s ideal and necessary to answer several questions regarding the person under their…Read More
What Exactly Is a Trust, and Do I Need Different Types of Trusts in My Estate Plan?
A trust is essentially a contract between two people, one who is the grantor of the trust and the other the trustee or beneficiary. These can be the same individual, the grantor of the trust can also be the trustee. That’s contrary to contract law where generally you cannot enter into a contract with yourself,…Read More
How Do I Plan for Possible Incapacity During My Lifetime? What Estate Planning Documents Are Necessary?
There are several estate planning documents that we prepare for our clients to anticipate some form of incapacity, including: Healthcare powers of attorney Durable powers of attorney, and Trusts. Healthcare powers of attorney are distinguishable from durable financial powers of attorney, in that they are limited to only the scope of making healthcare decisions for…Read More
Common Disputes and How to Resolve Them
[vc_row el_class=”container”][vc_column][vc_column_text]In my experience, there are only two or three things that truly create a hostile relationship and contention within a family during an estate administration process. What can lead to litigation in many instances is when one beneficiary feels they are entitled to more, or something different, than the other beneficiaries, even though the…Read More
What Is Probate And When Is Probate Triggered In North Carolina?
[vc_row el_class=”container”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Probate is the court-supervised process over which personal assets are transferred out of the individual names into the names of their heirs or beneficiaries after death. Whether you go through probate or not will be determined by the level of estate planning. If the descendent died with no will and no other estate planning…Read More
What Happens If Somebody Dies With Property But No Will?
It is a common assumption between spouses that at the death of the first spouse to die, the surviving spouse will inherit all the deceased’s property. This is usually not the case. If the individual or the deceased spouse has any children, whether from the first marriage or by the marriage to the surviving spouse,…Read More