Orsbon & Fenninger, LLP

Estate Planning and Estate Administration

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March 2017 Archives

Michael Jackson estate battles IRS over image rights

Music fans in North Carolina and around the country may be interested in learning about some recent developments concerning his legacy. The legendary performer's reputation had been badly damaged by child abuse allegations when he died, which prompted his estate to place a value of only $2,105 on his likeness and image rights. Jackson's music has remained extremely popular despite the controversy, and Forbes now lists the iconic entertainer as one of the highest-earning deceased celebrities.

Does a new marriage mean you need a new estate plan?

Remarriage can be an exciting time for a North Carolina family, but like other significant life events, it can also signal significant financial changes. In the event that you are getting married for a second or subsequent time, you would be smart to make plans beyond where you want to honeymoon and what flavor of cake you should have; you should also make appropriate financial plans.

Common methods to avoid probate

The probate process may take several months to complete and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, there are ways in which North Carolina residents may be able to prevent their assets from going though probate. The first way to do this is to create a living trust. A single individual can act as the grantor of the trust, the trustee and the beneficiary.

Uncertain tax laws, trusts and estate planning

People in North Carolina who need to make estate plans might wonder whether they should wait until new tax laws are passed by the Trump administration. The best course of action is to avoid delaying the creation of an estate plan and make one that's based on existing laws. Tax changes may not even take effect for years or be reversed by a later administration. Furthermore, there are some benefits to creating an estate plan that are unrelated to taxes. For example, an ironclad trust shields an estate from creditors, divorce and other potential claims on its value.